Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another day in the life..

"I'm going to have to interrupt this very important travel-blog with some real life happenings.  I was going to be totally disciplined about getting trip stuff up, but funny things happen.  And if I don't "write in the moment", I forget the crazy details, and then.. it reads like a newspaper headline--choppy, stiff, formal, blah.  You have newspapers if that's what you want to read, eh?

So, let's set the scene.

I'm in my car driving home.  I had just been to Chicago to pick up my husband from Moody and I dropped him off at work.  I was on the very end of my journey and there's this crossing of two roads, about a half a mile from my house.  For those of you who know my area, it's the crossing of Meridian and Kelly--cornfields on all sides.  There are no buildings, no stop lights, just a basic stop sign.

So, while I'm stopped at the basic stop sign, I notice two old guys, hobbling along carrying suitcases.  Well, they weren't that old, but like 50-60ish.. and they looked hot and exhausted.  I figured their car broke down and they needed a ride somewhere.

So, I stopped the car,

"What are you guys doing?"

"We're headed to Sioux City, Iowa"

"Did your car break down?  Are you planning to walk all the way there?"

"No, we're trying to catch a ride.  We're hungry, thirsty, broke... anything you can give us will help."

"Do you have any weapons on you?  Anything at all?"

No weapons.  A small pocket knife.  I handed them a jug of water.  One of them drank it down speedily.  I handed them $4.00 cash.  (It's all I had in my wallet)  I looked around the car for some food.

No food.  And then I prayed.

"Why don't you guys come to my house and I'll give you lunch.  And I'll drive you to your next stop."

And then I got to thinking.  I have two men in my car and I'm bringing them to my house.  What are my kids going to think?

Hiya kids!  Mommy is home.  I know I've been gone all day, but can we invite these two homeless guys in and feed them lunch??  They are safe.

So, that is pretty much what we did.  I didn't tell them that I had like.. a million kids.  And if they had any intention of doing anything sneaky, a new kid (bigger than the one who just came out) kept coming and coming out.  Finally, one of them asked,

"So, how many kids do you have?"

At that point, I really wanted to say "12"--just incase they wanted to pull something.

But I was honest and said, "only 5"..

To which one of them said, "Five?!!"

And when you are a tired old man, I guess five seems like a lot.  When the are 15 and already 6'1", I guess that seems intimidating, eh?

So, I never did feel unsafe in any way--which is, of course, what you are wondering.  I did watch them like a hawk, but the Lord gave me a peace the entire time.  I know we live in a crazy day and age where horrible things happen to good people all the time.  I am not naive, but the Lord was in this.  And it is a sad day when you can not respond to the promptings of the Lord because of fear.

So, I gave them some lunch and asked them to give me their personal stories.

Don is 51 and grew up in Escanaba, MI (an hour from where I grew up).  He has worked the carnival circuit all his life--a wandering kind of life.  He has children--all by different women.  He claims to be born again, but he seems to have very little understanding other than the basics.  I asked him if his mother was alive and he said she was.  To which I asked, "What does she think of your nomadic lifestyle? and how often do you call her?"  (Don's mother, you can thank me later, OK?)

Mike has a sadder story.  He had a farm in Iowa and was doing very well financially.  One day the market went down and he lost everything and his wife.  He took to drinking and depression.  He ended up in Rockford to try to live with his daughter.  His daughter's husband beat him up and kicked him out. Now he was homeless and helpless.  Wounded in body and spirit.  He showed me the deformities on his hands where his daughter's husband had injured him.

Both guys met at the Rockford Rescue Mission and agreed to hitch-hike together to Iowa and find work there.  Don hitch-hikes all the time.  Mike looked scared to death of the whole idea.  These guys hardly know each other and yet they are embarking on this dangerous journey together.

From there, I explained to Mike about the saving grace of the Lord Jesus.  And gave him a Bible, $10.00 more, two water bottles each, and seven peanut butter sandwiches.

So, we loaded everybody back into the car (including big teenage son) and drove them to where they said they wanted to go.  When I got the spot, I said, "If you promise to read the book of John before you go to bed tonight, I'll bring to to Byron"

to which (Don) responded, "how far will you take us if I agree to read the entire New Testament?"  LOL.

(for those of you who are following this geographically, they were not permitted to hitch-hike along the main highway, so they had to take the back roads)

I just dropped them off in Byron.  Mike was so respectful that he refused to call me anything other than "Mrs. Webber"--even though I am probably younger than his daughter.  And I asked him to call when they got settled.

So, when Will got home from work, he said, "And this all happened.. today?!!????"  yup.
Another day in the life.

Another day in my hedgehog, who-knows-what-is-going- to-happen next life!


Mrs. Santos said...

"And it is a sad day when you can not respond to the promptings of the Lord because of fear." Absolutely! Thanks for sharing. These stories of yours are really provoking - unto good works that is. (heb 10:24) God bless you.

Anonymous said...

See, now my big altruistic act seems so much easier now. All I did was settle the restaurant tab for a Girl Scout troop when their leader's credit card was declined.

Cassie said...

Wow, I just sat here and read that with my mouth hanging open or smiling huge! You are awesome and inspiring. Thank you for a great story. I will keep these two in my prayers.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

That is amazing. I think I would've been scared to pick them up and bring them home. Well done, you.

nitalinb said...


Mrs. Parunak said...

Wow. Awesome. A little scary and sad, but definitely awesome. I'm praying those guys do read the Bible you gave them and that God sends them more of His people to help them.

The Boojes said...

So glad you followed God's prompting and picked them up! And you kids are never going to forget it, either. My parents did some off-beat stuff like this when I was a kid, and now I'm so thankful for their example.