At our drop in staff and volunteers meet early for some words of encouragement and a time of prayer. The brief passage of Scripture was found in Isaiah 58:10-12. From those verses came the focus question of the day: “ Is there a way we can ease someone’s troubles today?” We decided to look for opportunities to do this.
When we opened the doors at ten o’clock, Cleary came in, sobbing. She told us how one of her closest friends had died of a heart attack at the age of 48. We consoled her as best we could and she was glad to receive such support. One of the staff sat beside her, held her hands and listened to the stories of her friend’s life.
As the day progressed Cleary went upstairs to the clothing section for a visit. In a few minutes we heard angry loud voices and saw that another of our ladies, Laura, was very agitated.
She told the story of how once again, that nasty lady Cleary, had grievously wronged her. Cleary had apparently yelled at Laura in the clothing section, telling her to get out of her way!
We took Laura aside and tried to help her understand Cleary was having a bad day. We explained about the loss of her best friend and how this was such a difficult time. As the conversation continued, there was a softening in Laura, an understanding that was not there a few minutes ago.
Laura supposed that perhaps she had not heard Cleary properly – even admitted some loss of hearing in one ear!
Just then, Laura’s eyes locked on someone or something immediately behind us.
Seemingly from out of nowhere, Cleary appeared. We wondered if we would now have to break up a fight between the two women.
What a surprise to see what happened next. In that moment of time there was birthed a miracle. Two ladies, whose hearts were once hardened in anger and resentment towards each other, caught up in their own worlds of pain and misunderstanding, suddenly saw and understood the pain and trouble the other woman was experiencing.
In a moment, Cleary tearfully apologized for her inappropriate tone of voice and demeanour. She was surprised and saddened to hear that Laura had a hearing problem. So that was why she had not moved earlier. She was so sorry.
Laura apologized for her words and bitterness that she had earlier directed at Claudette.
The two women folded into each other’s arms in tears, forgiveness and a new friendship. All the anger and anxiety and hostility was washed away as two souls embraced.
You might be interested in the verse that was shared at the beginning of the day. “Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.” Isaiah 58:12
Amazing or what? It’s a powerful reminder that there is a God who is deeply concerned with all of the needs, sorrows and troubles of all of His children.