That effort to reach out
She seemed shut off in her own world
By Mary Laframboise, Canada
I was taking a short walk outside, a break from my list of daily tasks, when I passed by someone sitting in a wheelchair in front of my building. I looked at her briefly and tried to make eye contact, but I saw she was wearing earphones, and her eyes seemed so tired and sad. Blank. I hurried on.
Then I stopped and thought, “Is that the person I see at my parish?” I wasn’t sure, and besides, she seemed shut off in her own world.
I decided to turn back and make more of an effort to love her as Jesus would. I approached her and said loudly enough to get her attention, “Excuse me, do you go to St. Timothy’s?” She said yes, and I found out she also had lived in my building for six years!
We began to talk about the parish, and then she proceeded to tell me many things about her life, challenges with her family, most of whom had stopped going to church. She told me some serious issues she was facing with her grandchildren, and how she was trying to help them, despite sometimes being mocked by other family members for her efforts and her faith.
A half hour passed very quickly, and by now I was sitting next to her. Then she asked me if I would help her make contact with the pastor. I agreed happily.
I was just starting to tell her something I had read about the important role of grandparents when her grandson appeared to pick her up. He recognized me from the church.
I told both of them about the importance of grandparents, who provide role models of successful lives and fulfilled people, like she and her husband, who had stayed together for 50 years.
“That’s right, Grandma!” her grandson agreed. She was vibrant and smiling as she left, and so was I! I was so thankful I had not let her pass by me in vain!
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