Just one more email before I run out the door. Just as I gather my things and reach to turn the lights off, the phone rings. I hesitate and for a second wonder if I should ignore it. I reach around the desk and answer it. It is a gentlemen on the other end "Bueno Senora Elia, no me puedia ayudar con una poca de comida?", " Hello Lady Elia, Would you help me with a little bit of food ?"
I look at the clock and it is yelling 5:15. I reluctantly agree to gather food and wait on him to pick it up. My clock is now screaming 5:37 and a gentleman and his two children are standing at my door. I go to the door smile and say, "hello." I stand there with two bags of food in hand, I hand him a bag of groceries. He fumbles with grasping the bag and that is when I notice he is missing a hand. The young boy, age 9, steps in to rescue the bag of groceries. A little girl, age 7, walks behind him and gently speaks "i'll take the other". I walk with them to their car. They are so grateful for the little food I have given them. As they drive off my heart hurts. It is now sadly 5:48 and I am late for my date night.
I dial my honey and through tears ask if we can skip date night and go buy groceries instead. Broken, I explain what I have just witnessed.
I tell him I just witnessed two children helping their daddy with his burden. I can't go eat, knowing this family will not have enough to eat for the week end. I explain I have just given them a couple of bags of canned vegetables and a bag of other dry goods but not nearly enough to make a meal of substance. He agrees and we go shopping instead.
I rush to retrieve my honey. He is gitty and ready to go save the world. We head back to town and find our local supermarket. As we walk in the store and begin to shop this indescribable feeling of Hope, takes over our being. It is not something I can find words to describe. Its an unexplainable feeling. I have learned in the past three years, that serving is not always convenient and serving doesn't care about my plans. We shop as if we were shopping for our home and our children. We buy so much food it fills up the back of my suburban. I call the family and we arrange for a place to meet. I learned latter that they were to embarrassed to invite us to their home.
As we drive to the appointed location, there is no chatter. We are silent and again our surroundings are like we are watching a silent film. We drive which seems like hours but it is really only a few minutes. We arrive and start to look for their vehicle. We see nothing and decide we have arrived first. The wind is so fierce, I notice as branches are being tugged from a nearby tree. People scurry out of this building in a hurry trying to make it to their vehicles, unharmed. It is so bitterly cold. I sit with excitement in my stomach as I can't wait to see those children again.
They arrive and we greet them. I introduce them to my honey and he introduces us to his wife. She greets me by wrapping her arms around me and thanks me for the food, I gave her husband earlier.
I tell her we have bought her vegetables and other things for the fridge. She thanks me again. Her little boy rushes out of the car to hug me. He thanks me for the peanut butter, I gave him earlier. "We are saving it to eat for breakfast." I tell him he doesn't have to save it because I got him some cereal and milk.
The wind at this point is blowing 60+ miles an hour and the temperature is in the teens. As we are standing there, in this weather, talking, having this God moment. Everything around us seems to be in pause. The weather seems to go around us. We talk as if we have been friends for years. If you are familiar with "The Chronicles of Narnia" you know the children travel to a magical place called Narnia, a place where time stands still. That is exactly how we felt as if time and everything was just in pause.
We open the hatch and the children begin to help unload. The mother puts her arms around me again,no words are spoken and that allows me to hear her heart. They take the milk, eggs and bread with such gratitude. They say there thank yous and I tell them all the groceries in my suburban are for them. The mother puts her hands over her face and weeps as I go over and hold her.
The little boy said "No lo puedo crea", " I just can't believe it".
He looks up at my honey and with excitement speaks "now we are going to have a lot to eat." The father gets teary eyed and goes to the car to make room for the groceries. We unload everything and the little boy goes over to me and tells me, "I am going to take good care of the milk, we will only have a little bit at a time so it can last us a long time."
My husband walks over to the child and hugs him. I tell him " you and your sister drink as much milk as you want, I will take you more when you run out."
As we drive off I pray with all my heart and ask God to give them a Special Christmas.