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Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Heart Wrenching Experience Part 1

Today I had a new experience. It was an experience that left a mark. I have not been able to get it off my mind and I am struggling with what to do.
My husband and I did our usual running around that we do on Saturday and one of the places that we needed to go to was the pool supply store to pick up some chemicals. We noticed a woman standing outside that looked pretty rough. Brad mentioned that she looked homeless and she disappeared around the corner. I set out in the car playing  on my cell phone while he went into the store. When he came back to he car he told me that he asked one of the employees inside about her and they said she hangs out in the back behind the trash cans and was, indeed, homeless.
I told Brad that the day before I had gone to the grocery store and had gotten $20 in cash because I felt that I was going to need to give money to someone.  Well, here was that opportunity. I got out of the car and walked over to her and she was laying inside a sleeping bag and it appeared she was wearing everything she owned. She obviously had not bathed in a very long time. Her long nails were broken and filthy. Her teeth were broken and many missing. There was no way I  could guess her age. She as just so pitiful. I asked her name and she said "They call me Vicky" . She told me her body ached and she just needed to lay down awhile. I asked her if she was hungry and she told me she was.
I handed her the $20 and made her promise she would buy food. (I know many will say I should have given  her food instead of money, but I did what I felt I should do at the time). I asked her if I could pray with her and she said "please do, hon" - so I did and then I told her good bye.
Talk about a heavy heart! We drove away and Brad and I talked about her all the way home. Wondering what could we do for her? It seems she is such a hopeless state, but I know my God is bigger than that.
About 3 hours later I had a hair appointment and afterwards I decided to drive over to that area again tosee if she was still there. She was! I just sat in my car watching her. Wondering what does she do when it rains? When it's  freezing and windy?  Does she ever get a hot shower?  Is she sick? How did her teeth get all broken? Has she been beaten?  How did life take this turn for her?
I took this picture from a distance. I don't want to exploit the poor woman. My wish is to put a face on the situation. This is a human being that for whatever reason, her life has been reduced to trash bins, plastic bags and hand outs.

So what can I do? I plan to take her a blanket tomorrow. I want to buy her a backpack and fill it with toiletries, snacks, a bible. I want to "fix her" but I know that's not realistic. I can pray for her. I can check on her every chance I get and make sure she has food. I have emailed a friend that volunteers with a group that goes to downtown Houston and takes food and clothing to the homeless. I am still waiting to hear from her. I hope she can help.

This is but ONE person. I know there are thousands upon thousands out there, but up until  now they have been more or less "out of sight - out of mind". I don't want to be that way. If we are to be Jesus hands - I can't be.

5 comments:

  1. That is a great post, and so timely! Just as I was lying awake thinking about my problems, I got up and read this. It's amazing how God works!
    I love that He puts people in our paths that we are to take notice of and love on, though we don't ever know what will come of it. One thing is for sure--love feels good to the hurting. Thank you!

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  2. It's very sad Pamela. Our women's club volunteers at an outreach center for homeless women with children. The little things we do like ordering them pizza just make their month.
    Keep up the good work!

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  3. Pamela, God used you in a mighty way in her life. I think the idea of taking her the Bible and care package is a wonderful one. You are doing the right thing by simply doing what God is asking of you - one thing at a time, one step at a time. He is speaking to her through you...Jesus in disguise. The next step is up to Him. I hope you hear from the homeless ministry soon. I am praying for her, and thanking God for your open, willing heart.
    Love you,
    Cindy

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  4. Well, let me dry my eyes and stand and applaud you! What a wonderful gesture. Yes, she is just one person, but if it makes a difference in her life, than maybe she can someday pay it forward!!
    Hugs and kisses to you!!

    XO Sylvia

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