Shade for a Homeless Friend

This post is for the one who needs to remember the Lord is like shade to our hearts.

When I left the recovery center this morning, after loving on my precious girls and after teaching, I looked at my phone. A text from a homeless mom who has three children sent me to put some gas in her car. And then, we stood at the gas station, held hands, and prayed. For her struggles are hard with no easy answers. Her obstacles like a mountain of worry. Her children in need of stability.

When I finished praying with them, a tall man in ragged clothes, with leather skin, swayed next to me.

He spoke, “Sorry to bother you but we saw you praying and wondered if you’d pray for us.”

“We? Where? Of course.”

His long fingers pointed to the shade tree behind the fast food restaurant. “My wife, Amy, has a terrible toothache.”

I said goodbye to the family in the car and walked to the shade where another dear homeless friend, whom I haven’t seen for months, stood with Amy. He hugged me, something he’s never done before.

“I’m not in jail right now. Isn’t that great?”

“It sure is. I’m thankful to see you found some shade.”

“Yes it does help.”

I glanced into his eyes. They were focused and clear. I smiled, “Don’t you love how the Lord is our help? Our Savior? I’m going to pray with Robert and Amy. Do you want to join us?”

He reached for my hand, while my friend with the toothache winced, while her husband comforted her.

I have to say, I counted it all joy that earlier my other homeless family ran out of gas and sent me a text on this day, at the exact moment my other three friends would be in the shade of the lone tree.

So after running for Ibuprofen, my “car” seemed to think a family size, bucket of chicken might make for a great lunch. It would be like a picnic in the shade for my friends. And yes, I got plenty of mashed potatoes for Amy, since she couldn’t chew or bite down on food.

As I drove away, with my window open, I heard Amy say in a giddy voice, “She got you chicken and me mashed potatoes. I can’t believe it. We have lunch.”

My heart exploded with joy, and I whispered, “Thank you Lord, for when our ”tanks“ are empty you supply needs before our very eyes! Those physical. And those spiritual.”

Even now, I find comfort in seeing how God guided all of us to meet up this morning. For just yesterday, I was wondering how a friend’s grandson is doing, as he’s on the streets too. And he’s been missing for a while. Then today, I held his hand for the first time, ever. As he was the one who is thankful not to be in jail!

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