We just spent two fabulous weeks doing something that some people desire to do but cannot for various reasons.
It could be because of conflicts within a group or because of addictive habits rendering them as unfit. But thank God we do not fall into these categories, so we were able to spend two weeks making faces, speaking in infantile languages and other childlike behaviours; yes, we had our (most beautiful girl in the world) granddaughter come to visit.
This was only the second time we were able to spend time with her since her birth last July, and already we see the beautiful young woman she will become. Her quick and easy smile endears people to her almost instantly, and the giving and loving nature of her parents makes it easy to see why she is so readily accepting of strangers.
Sometimes I almost feel guilty that my life should be so blessed while so many others are not. When I deal with the people I serve, I am constantly reminded of the pain, the abandonment, and the rejection that has placed so many in a position as to rebuff life to the point of living on the street, totally without hope, without a future, and without reason to go on.
For most of my life I preferred to live in the present without a lot of regard for the past, nor did I spend a lot of energy on heritage even though I am thankful for it and reflect on it , I did nothing to promote it. As I’ve aged I find myself reflecting on it more and more and find that increasingly I want to share it with my children.
Through Google Earth I can show them a street level view of the home in Holland that I remember, the canal directly out front of our home that I used to take a nose dive into periodically driving my poor mother nuts. But I never have had the need to concern myself with where I fit into or was able to identify with the human race.
Yesterday while waiting for the supper to cook, that changed. A one hour conversation with “Beth” changed my view totally.
I first met this young woman and her male partner when they came into the kitchen looking for the pastor who was on vacation. In their desperation, they asked if I would help them with a problem they were having in their relationship. I knew then and there after listening that this relationship could not continue, because the abuse of each other and substances had caused more pain and suffering than could be repaired during a simple conversation.
For most of my life, I preferred to live in the present without a lot of regard for the past. Nor did I spend a lot of energy on heritage even though I am thankful for it and reflect on it, but I did nothing to promote it.
As I’ve aged, I find myself reflecting on it more and more and find that increasingly I want to share it with my children.
Through Google Earth, I can show them a street level view of the home in Holland that I remember, the canal directly out front of our home that I used to take a nose dive into periodically, driving my poor mother nuts.
But I never have had the need to concern myself with where I fit into or was able to identify with the human race.
On Saturday April 20, we said farewell to woman of uncommon grace and compassion. This lady, while always working in the background, drew a very large crowd of people to her memorial. They came as professionals, as everyday blue collars and, most importantly, her friends from the streets.
Her 76 years did not stop her from her greatest passion: first her family, which included husband Jim, four children, I think seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, then those from the street, the afflicted, and the addicted; her passion being that each and every one of them could live with the peace and contentment that she herself experienced through her faith in God and his son Jesus.
I have known this woman for 20-plus years and in all that time, I have never seen even a minor flickering of her faith — it was constant and strong. Then for the last four years, I have had the pleasure of her presence at the kitchen.
In one corner of the dining room is a small office called the Healing Centre, where she would speak with people and she would pray with them. Every Monday and Tuesday morning, she would be there at breakfast time. With a plate of food, she would go and sit at a table, and within five minutes the table would be full of people eating, but mostly visiting with this loving woman.
“All emergency personnel are busy with other callers, but please stay on the line and we will answer your call as soon as possible.”
These words greeted me as I tried to reach the RCMP to report an erratic driver bouncing off both curbs on first 32nd street and then stopping traffic at the intersection at 40th avenue. Without a doubt this driver was on some kind of substance. Having received no answer by the time we reached 39th street, I hung up the phone in disgust. As I had an appointment, we were not able to follow this driver, so after dropping off my wife at home, I proceeded to my appointment. Seven minutes later as I was parking at my appointment, I got a call from the RCMP stating that a call had been made from my phone, and was there an emergency? I wonder what would have been the response if I had been a woman alone with someone breaking into my residence.
After giving my name, date of birth, my cell number and my home number, and address, I was asked what the problem was. I explained briefly what we had observed, and after an assurance that an officer would be sent to check it out, I went to my appointment. Surprisingly I was not asked if I was driving while phoning, which I wasn’t by the way.
What with the 911 operator and telephone switching, and then a busy RCMP switchboard, a call that should have taken three minutes was eventually stretched out to fifteen. By that time the erratic driver was either long gone, or involved in an accident which could have been fatal considering the speed at which he was driving.