Hebrews 13:2 Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Just when I thought my middle child had completely forgotten her upbringing and may very well have been abducted by body snatchers, I got a phone call. Through tears and sobs (both hers and mine) she told this story.
Alexa was at work just a few blocks from downtown Charlotte, NC. As she was walking into the building an elderly, homeless woman approached, so she held the door for her. Once inside, the woman asked where the bathroom was located. Alexa pointed it out. Feeling safe since she had not been ignored or turned away, the woman turned to Alexa and said, “Can you help me?” She went on to explain that her pants were falling off and she couldn’t hold them up and use her cane at the same time.
Alexa offered the lady her arm. She cried as she explained to me that the lady put all of her weight onto her and that it took ten minutes to go the 30 feet to the restroom. On the way, the woman explained that she had broken her hip.
Once inside the bathroom the lady asked for more help. By now, Alexa was just trying not to cry because she felt so much compassion for the frail woman. The lady explained that she needed assistance buttoning her pants. Alexa looked down and saw that it would be impossible for the lady to use her crippled hands for such a task. Alexa did, what was for her, the only normal thing to do and buttoned her pants and adjusted her clothes and said, “There. Are you more comfortable now?”
The grateful woman then asked if she could sit down. My daughter got her a chair and returned to work fighting back the tears as best she could. She sobbed as she revealed that the worst part of the whole thing was the reactions of the other people around them. Most of them ignored her, some looked away and none of them seemed to comprehend why Alexa was crying. She reported that a few hours later she was finally able to do her job without fighting back tears. “But Mom,” she said still crying, “I didn’t like the way that felt. I didn’t want to be over it. I didn’t want to forget.”
I told her that is because of who she is…who God created her to be. She is Alexa – “Helper and Defender of Mankind”. That is what her name means, and it fits. We can try out alter egos but there is only one way to be at home in our own skin. There is not a truer sense of fulfillment than when we understand our identity in Christ and live out the unique calling, destiny and life that is ours alone. The only thing that comes close to it, is seeing our children live out theirs.
Happy Birthday Alexa!
*Later that day she saw the lady again at a fast food restaraunt. Alexa was so excited that she left and ran across the street to get her purse. She gave the woman her last four dollars. The next day the lady came to her place of work looking for her but she wasn’t there. Alexa’s co-workers didn’t ignore her this time but instead called an ambulance to take her to the hospital for her broken hip.