Red Bird Fly
I scanned the area, the dampness heavy, even though my coat warmed me. Calling to the tents at the camps, I hollered in hopes of finding the person that I’d met earlier, whose toes were purple in the cold. Her flip flops were her only shoes. “Hello, is anyone at the camps?”
No answer. But a red bird flittered by, perching on the branch to my left.
I immediately remembered how my journey of the past eight years had included my dear-late friend, Cindy. She loved red birds!
Sighing, I walked down the alley, and the bird soared ahead of me, perching on yet another branch. And I took in his beauty.
Amidst the blue tarps and tents and trash, a fragile and gentle creature added color to my walk. But still no one answered, so I turned back.
New Friend Fly
A voice rose up from behind me, calling, “Hey. Who are you? Who’s at our camp? What do you want?”
I spun around, hurrying toward the yell. “It’s just me. Ms. Pam.”
The face of my (not-yet) friend appeared from behind the brush, and she straddled her bike. “Hi there. You can’t be too careful. It’s not much. But it’s our home.”
“I know. I’m looking for K. In case you know her.”
“I don’t know anyone by that name.”
I touched her on the shoulder. “So is this where you stay?”
“Yes. Everything is wet though. It rained and rained yesterday. And now it’s cold. And my husband’s in jail.”
Our conversation was filled with weary words and worried phrases. And her sadness landed on the trail. “I just don’t know what’s next.”
“Can I pray for you? Let’s seek answers by trusting God for guidance.”
“Please pray. I need His help.”
Hearts Connect and Soar
When I finished and said, “amen,” her tears fell like rain down her cheeks. She wiped her face. “I’m freezing today. Some days are harder than others.”
I handed her several McDonald’s gift cards. “Here, get some lunch and get warm. And take these scripture cards. Let God speak to your heart.”
She reached for my neck and held me longer than regular hugs last. As if the hug connected her to a place where red birds fly, to homes where hope and joy soar.
We said our goodbyes and I watched her ride off, and yes later, I did find my friend who needed socks and shoes. But a stop on the side on the road which led down an alley, allowed the beauty of a new friend to fly into my day—first.