“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not”
While serving my church mission in Chile, we saw an old lady begging in the street. Some locals that owned a nearby bakery warned us that she was always begging and to try to avoid her. Of course that did not bother us so we made it a point to say hello to her every time we saw her.
Our hellos soon turned into short conversations and gradually when she saw us from afar a big beautiful smile would grace her face. This face was old, weathered and tattered and filled with cracks and holes. It became obvious over time that she did not need us for food but instead for just caring and attention.
One night we saw her out late and walked her to her home. We discovered that she had no electricity and there were no windows in the walls where there should have been….just empty holes. She told us how her taxi driver husband had left her years ago and this was her fate. We then found out that her principle reason for begging was that she had an enormous number of cats that needed to be fed.
She was a special person but in many ways like each of us. What she needed was to be loved. My missionary companion and I offered that to her by stopping and speaking to her in a normal way instead of avoiding her. I know the smile on her rugged face taught me a great lesson in life that I will always keep with me. We all need to be loved and we need to make sure that we do our part to be aware of those that need it just a little more today than others.