Compassionate Grace

Today we spent the morning in prayer and meditation then headed out to the beach around 12:30. We chatted with a couple from Orlando while walking to the beach giving them advice on what was worth seeing since they only had one night here. Then we began to walk and praise as we were going. We saw a couple posing for pictures with an apparent timer on their phone propped on a stroller. We asked if they would like for us to take some pictures and at first they said no. Then the lady started unstrapping their daughter from the stroller and her husband ask what she was doing, she said we could take pictures of all of them. It was evident that there little girl was ‘special’. They got her unstrapped and posed holding her for some pics to be snapped. I walked back toward them to let them pursue the pictures and ask mom the little one’s name; she replied, “Isis”. I patted her arm and said, “hi Isis, you are such a pretty girl”. I then ask how old she was and mom said, “five”. Isis could not speak, could not walk and probably had even more cognitive and physical issues than were apparent visually. I did not ask what was wrong with this lovely little girl just chatted at bit and it was a miracle of grace as I talked to Isis she would grin and bounce in mom’s arms excitedly. This little sweetie couldn’t communicate, couldn’t walk but she could smile, my how she could smile. I blessed them and Dave and I walked away with each step we continued to pray for Isis and her Mom and Dad. Isis may not know what she is missing in life with her lovely smile but Mom and Dad do and they will continue to be in our prayers as they endeavor to live with the limitations of Isis’ issues to the fullest of His grace upon them all. Isis reminds us all that life is more than doing, more than a career, more than accomplishments, it is joy, purity, grace which bounces in the arms of a loving parent.

Next I saw a young lady sitting alone with a book and thought why not ask her to take a picture of Dave and I together. I ask her if she minded and she said, “of course I don’t mind”. Once she had snapped a few pictures I walked over to get the phone and introduced myself. Saanae introduced herself and asked if I were an American and I replied affirmatively finding out she was from the Netherlands. I sat down beside her and we started chatting. She has been an exchange student and has a few more days on her VISA so she is doing some traveling. We spoke of the different ways our countries deal with homeless and she admitted that sometimes there are so many here they scare her. She is traveling alone and Dave told her basically most of them won’t harm her but she does need to be aware that many of them have mental issues and you never know how they will react so be careful. We continued to chat about politics and she ask about why Americans were so prejudice racially. We discussed it but mainly it eludes me as to why racial hatred is still so strong. Eventually we decided time to go since we’d been heading for lunch in town and prayed for her safety and protection in her travels.

I can’t tell you what a joy it has been to meet so many people, to find Abba’s great compassion extended often both ways. One of our desires has been not merely to help the street people but to be able to reach out to the tourist especially from other countries. It has renewed my faith in humanity that all the people we have met have been so open to having conversations about any and all things. We have still yet to have anyone say they don’t want us to pray for them. People need connections, and it really doesn’t matter if you can barely understand each other due to language differences, if there are racial differences, age differences…people are hungry for compassion, to be seen and heard as humans.

I finish this writing on a bit of a sad note. While at lunch I noticed a very young couple eating, one reason is the young lady reminded me of my nieces, Ashley and Becca. I noticed the young man got up while she was still eating and got back in line bringing two more fries. I didn’t think that much till the young lady picked up the two full orders of hot fries and took them over to a homeless man who was digging through the trash. She offered him the fries and he barely looked at her and refused to take the fries to keep digging in the trash. I saw her sit down the one order of fries and return to the table with the other order. In just a few minutes they got up and started to leave. I decided this was inexcusable for a young lady who had put herself out to try to help to be so rebuffed so I jumped up and went over and thanked her for being so sweet and apologized to her for how her offer had been rejected. She said it was okay but I could see she was about to tear up. I reiterated it had been a kind offer one that touched me and I appreciated it.

I don’t care if you are rich, poor or somewhere in between, there is no excuse for treating a sweet young person with such disdain. So many people use their woundedness, their bad past life as an excuse to treat others badly. Scripture says in the last days people will be unthankful. Beware lest you fall into the trap of ‘having a bad day’ and treating someone with less dignity, less gratefulness, less kindness than they deserve. Doing good is sometimes not so hard when you are ‘in the mood’ but being good takes a whole lot more work. May we all be like our Lord and Savior and become models of goodness and compassionate grace.


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