– Solitude and The Least of These –

I chose solitude today, for Thanksgiving.

My daughter, is in Florida at school.
She spent the day working in a soup kitchen with her peers, so I am not worried for her, knowing that ministering to others has not only distracted her from missing us here at home, but has also enriched her character.

My sons are with their father.
I knew the security in keeping the tradition of “going to grandma’s” was what they needed.

I chose solitude on purpose,

But what about those who do not have the choice?

I saw quite a few people on the near-deserted streets of Detroit today, while walking to my car, and I had an innate sense that many of these people
had solitude thrust upon them.

Several, in particular, stand out in my memory.
One woman stood in a brown, scratchy-looking, full length coat – her back to me.
She was pressed up against a tall chain-link fence, her hands at shoulder level, fingers clutching…
She was the image of a soul forlorn.

I wanted to take her picture to preserve that image, but I could not exploit her emotional state.

image

And there were others…

As I continued walking, my mind then  wandered to friends of mine who are celebrating this holiday without their husband or wife, mother or father,  brother or sister, or child…
and my heart was moved for them.

Then, I thought of those sitting at a crowded table. Those who sit among many while feeling completely alone, and again my heart was moved with compassion.

What of those who did not choose to be alone?
They are out there.
Pray for them.

Jesus told us plainly, that a day would come, when he would reject some who thought they were his servants, because  He “never knew” them.
“Lord, when did we see you hungry, or in prison…?”
He says, ” If you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it for me.”
We must reach out to “the least of these”.

The lowest.
The non-famous
The unimportant.
The forgotten.
Those who did not choose solitude for the day that every one in America makes plans that hinge on the word “together”.

We are blessed.
We are blessed with one another.
With companionship.
Laughter.
Friendships.
Family.

But some are not.

Today, I swung into a restaurant that was open on the way home, and as I was paying my bill, a woman walked in that I recognized from another local establishment where I work. She is elderly. She is hunched over with severe arthritis that causes her to work hard to lift her head to look forward. She walks very slowly with a cane.

When I see her, at the other restaurant where I work painting faces, I always get the door for her coming in and going out and we exchange pleasantries. Today, when I saw her, I knew this was the day I would sit with her and visit.

She is ninety-one years old.
Alone on Thanksgiving Day.
She has nieces and nephews – but she never married and has no children.
She told me stories about where she came from, and I told her some of mine.She shared with me some of her adventures and wanted to know if I was Catholic. I told her how I found my way to God.
We learned each other’s names and enjoyed one another.
It was rich.

Then another sweet elderly woman with a very bent spine came over and began to speak with us. She was a spitfire, let me tell you, her blue eyes flashing with light and life. When I told her about my passion for this nation, I said, “I bet we’d have some lively conversations!” She asked me, “Are you a fan of Obama?”
I answered with a smile, and a resounding “No, I am not.”.
She instantly replied, “Then, we sure would, because I am.” And we laughed.
She was so much fun.

She was meeting a gentleman friend for dinner, so when he arrived, she left and my new friend and I were alone again.

When things quieted down, I paid for her dinner, which she did not care for, understandably, but I asked her to please let me do it, and then I walked her to her car.

I know I will see her again. She knows where I work. I am looking forward to more stories. You can’t talk to someone who is ninety-one years old and not ask for stories!

I’m glad God caused our paths to cross.

Tonight, when you have a quiet moment, close your eyes and whisper a prayer of thanks to your Heavenly Father for that modern day Eden he has placed you in.
Do you think your family happened by accident?
No, beloved one.
He has surrounded you with the ones you have near you. He has given you good gifts.

Close your eyes and send your heart to heaven in a kiss. And while you have your Father’s attention, speak to His heart, and ask him to provide, for those who are lonely, a sense of His manifest presence, so that they would know He is with them. And ask Him to send them a friend.

They had good gifts too, at one time.
They just lost them somehow.
It’s not for us to know how, or why, just to love them.

Jesus said if we have done it to the least “of these, my brethren”, then we’ve done it unto Him.
My brethren…
He sees them as his brothers.
His family.
We can take some time to pray for his family, can’t we?

We are blessed.
We are blessed with one another.
With companionship.
Laughter.
Friendships.
Family.

But some are not.

Take some time today to pray for them.
And then rise up, go to your loved ones, and

let time stop for just a moment

while you absorb the atmosphere of that paradise that the Lord has placed you in.

He gives good gifts to his children for a reason.
Enjoy them.
To thoroughly enjoy a gift is the best expression of heartfelt gratitude that exists.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Leah

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4 thoughts on “– Solitude and The Least of These –

  1. jim nieman December 3, 2012 / 6:12 am

    Its a beautiful thing getting out of our comfort zone…thats where the magic happens…i wont bore you with my encounters…..but ive got em…..keep on lovin….

  2. I am Leah November 24, 2012 / 9:58 pm

    God Bless you! 😀 Thank you for sharing your heart with me. 😉

  3. Tony Jones November 23, 2012 / 6:14 am

    Hi, I just wanted you to know this email touched my heart, I pray many blessings from our Heavenly Father flow down to you. Blessings Jill Jones

    Sent from my iPad

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