I headed to the park this Mother’s Day and what a beautiful day it was. The sun was shinning, it was warm and there was a nice breeze blowing. I was there to see my friends without homes, but there seemed to be more in the air, a feeling that there was going to be more to the day.
To my surprise and shock, when I arrived at the park a group that is always there, greeted me with very loud “Happy Mother’s Day” greeting. I was totally blown away. We exchanged hellos and hugs. They caught me up on what was going on and how their week was going. I then gathered my things and proceeded to make my way around the park.
I found a girl who I have been trying to talk to for a while. She always looks very sickly. She has been on her own from a very young age and is always hungry. I feel so sorry for her; the drugs and the streets have taken such a toll on this beautiful girl. Today though she had a light in her eyes and a smile on her face that brought joy to my heart. She is usually very timid and stands offish, but today she let her guard down and we enjoyed each other’s company, even if it was just for a little while.
Then there is Miss Shilo. A young teenage girl, who is angry at the world. She was crossing the park and I thought I would try again to talk to her. I always try and give her something to eat, but she always refuses. She wants you to have the impression that she needs no help and she can do it on her own. Once again I offered and to my surprise this time she accepted and informed me it was only because she was really hungry. I was thinking that’s all right with me, at least it’s a start with her.
There were a few new faces this week. I tried to talk too as many as I could. I even learned to shake Indian style. One of the new guys in the park was an American Indian man and he said if we were going to be friends, then he was going to teach me how to shake Indian style, so we can greet each other the Indian way. So, Indian style is how I will greet my new friend.
As I was talking to someone, a little girl walked up and asked what I had in my bags. I told her that I had some sandwiches and chips. She informed me of her name and she was four years old and could she have some of what was in my bag, because she was hungry. I gave her something to eat and to my amazement she started talking about living on the street with her mom. No four year old should be that streetwise. She asked me what I was doing in the park? I told her I was there to see her beautiful face and smile. She laughed and ran off to her mom.
Later, as I was walking back through the park, headed for my truck, I passed Miss Shilo again. She was hanging out with a group of young kids and as I passed and told her good-bye, she would not even look at me. To my shock a few moments later she yelled out to me. I turned and with a smile on her face she said, “ You know I think your special.” I told her that she was the one that was special and she had a smile that could light up a room.
As I reached my truck, I felt someone grab my leg and there was the little four year old. She asked if I was going to come back so I could see her beautiful face again? How could I not, I told her and hugged her good-bye. When I was driving off the group that greeted me yelled out “ You know we love you.” “I love you too,” I yelled back.
I drove off thinking of how I went to the park to try and be a blessing to my friends without homes and in return I was the one that walked away feeling truly blessed. That feeling that I said, that there seemed to be more in the air that day, I really believe you could feel God’s presence there that day. He’s there all the time, but that day I really think he was doing something. When you see a angry teenager let her guard down, a little girl give you a hug, a broken young woman have a little joy in her heart or simply have a group of rough men express how much you mean to them, you can’t tell me that God is not at work in these lives. So, don’t always look for God in the big and spectacular, sometimes his best work can be found in the small things in life.
to all the coaches I've known before
2 weeks ago