Monday, February 15, 2010

Blessings In Disguise

I’m trying to keep up with regular blogging, and so far so good!

I thought that for this posting I’d describe for you a blessed moment on the bus! Now, the bus and the ride in itself do not seem to have the trappings of a blessing….however, the people one has the opportunity to meet can indeed be a blessing. Last Friday the usual groups of those seeking money appeared on the bus as I was riding on my way to the office. Two young children came on to sing and strum a guitar. They were definitely not candidates for the choir, but their energy was definitely worth noting. Next a blind gentleman, who appears frequently, got on the bus and played his accordian. Finally, a VERY ELDERLY woman with long, flowing, white hair and a crutch was basically lifted up onto the bus. She was alone and at the mercy of folks who helped her. She sat next to me and there was definitely something special between us. She was very poor, but clean and sporting a white apron. She spoke so softly I had to put my ear next to her mouth. She wanted to know what bus route we were on. I told her it was the 114 and asked where she wanted to go. She told me “el Zumen” (the name of a well known area) and I said that indeed she could get there on the 114. She had the most beautiful wrinkled, brown face and was just a whisper of a person. I asked her age and she told me, “I’m 90!” I asked her what she was going to do at “el Zumen” and she just held out her opened palm. She wasn’t asking me for anything, just demonstrating that she would be asking for alms from those waiting in that area. It came time for her to leave and several helped her down the bus steps. We were delayed for several minutes at this stop….this happens when the bus of the same route is too close to the one preceeding it. So, I continued to watch her walk up and down with the aid of her crutch and with one hand extended. Several people gave her something, while others tried not to see her. It occurred to me that “prayer happened” when this humble yet independent woman sat next to me. Such determination to do what she had to do to survive. She is a symbol for me of the extreme situation of so many of our people. At her age, one would hope for a peaceful, dignified place to rest and receive assistance. Not so for so many of the very poor of this world. There is no rest, there is only struggle to survive each day….and yes, there can be dignity in the very midst of it all. God does indeed visit us, especially in the poor.

What indications of love and dedication did you encounter on Valentine’s Day but also today and each day?

Thanks for keeping up with ‘life in Nicaragua’ as experienced by your sister, Jeanne!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Jeanne. What a beautiful story of "Prayer = encounter with God". My Valentine gift was having 2 of our hispanic community respond to the invitation to visit a Cuban 75 yr-old lady in our local nursing home. They've been there 3 times and have already established a precious friendship with her -- Other than visitors from Lansing, Olga has little exchange with people because of the language barrier (There are only 2 residents there who speak spanish and the other woman has dementia). What an encounter of Love among these 3 women!
Blessed Lent, Kit

Grace said...

THanks for that beautiful description of your encounter with the Lady of Dignity! In our US society, we tend to "look straight ahead", no eye contact, no exchange of ideas and self! What richness we lose! Often I am moved to address the folks I meet, but hold back! Your description encourages me to do another "counter-cultural" thing and meet the "dear neighbor" as person, not stranger! THANKS!