December 28, 2016
Mr. Willie

(originally posted as a blog post on 12/05/09)


So, it's the perfect Saturday afternoon and I'm standing at the kitchen counter mixing up a batch of Breakfast Cookies that are to die for.  It's freezing cold outside, the fire is blazing in the fireplace, and Nat King Cole is crooning to me about "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."  The dogs are sleeping on the rug under the kitchen table, Bradyn is on the couch exploring Facebook, Terry is at the office, and Kendra has gone to the grocery store for some essential baking ingredients that are nowhere to be found in the pantry.


I'm happy. Content. Thankful. Full of dreams and plans for 2010, but satisfied for now just to be baking cookies on this wonderful Saturday afternoon. Until Kendra walked back through the door.


She dumped the groceries on the table and turned to me teary-eyed. "Mom?  Do you remember Mr. Willie? The homeless man I connected with a few years ago when we were feeding them in the park every Saturday morning? Remember Mom? Brother Tim baptized him. He and I just had a connection, ya know?"


I did remember. She would frequently come home from those Saturday mornings talking about Mr. Willie. Talking about how there was just something about him that was different. She really cared about him. The youth group has since stopped their Saturday morning homeless ministry and she had lost contact with Mr. Willie.


"Mom, I was coming out of the grocery store and when I turned the corner, Mr. Willie was coming across the parking lot pushing a buggy and tears were POURING down his face. I saw him and just went straight to him and hugged him and said, 'Mr. Willie, what's wrong?' Mom, when he saw me, he just lifted his hands and said, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you!' I asked him again what was wrong and he just said, 'It's gonna be all right now.  The Lord has let me see you and has reminded me that He loves me. I've seen you and I know it's gonna be all right!' Mom, he wouldn't tell me what was wrong, he just kept saying that seeing me had let him know the Lord loved him and it was going to be all right. I asked him if he needed anything and he said the Lord was going to provide it. I had $5 in my pocket and made him take it. I told him he had to come to church Sunday and he said that he would be there because the Lord had sent me to let him know it was all right. He went into the store crying happy tears instead of sad tears and I went on to my car. Oh MOM!"


Dear God in heaven. Thank you for reminding me one more time that "to whom much has been given, much will be required." Thank you for reminding me again that Mr. Willie needs my touch this Christmas. My presence. My cookies and tears. All Mr. Willie needs is to see a caring face that reminded him of You to let him know that You still care. Oh Lord, please help me to stay sensitive this Christmas season. And to give freely of my hugs and my cookies and my prayers. 


Help me to love the Mr. Willies that cross my path.


And Lord, help me to not be so busy and so focused on my list that I miss them.