I’ve attempted to write blog post after blog post this week, but after about the first two sentences I would delete and think to myself, I will try again later. Nothing was just coming to me, however last night as I talked with Ms. Ida, she kind of wrote my blog for me. I was coming home from babysitting in Columbia and as soon as I pulled up my car was swarmed with the boys proudly telling me that they walked to the library yesterday and that they were sorry they didn’t wait for me. It was dark and all of a sudden I hear, “Pee-wee, Damien, Doughboy, get over here, you know you’re not supposed to be running all around right now,” and she came over to gather them and talk to me. She told me they were about to walk Doughboy home (apparently he’s related to her as well) and I said, oh can I walk with you, she looked at me like I had three heads and then said, “Sure (in her sweet Ms. Ida voice)!”
A little background on Ms. Ida, she’s the neighborhood grandma, aside from her own grandkids, two of which she raises she cares for pretty much every other kid on the block, she loves them like they are hers and she disciplines them like they are hers. She’s pouring out love at every turn, she’s sharing her home, her stoop, her wisdom with those around her. Loving people, Ms. Ida reminds me a lot of Jesus, she makes sacrifices for others, she loves people, she’s overflowing with wisdom and beauty like none other, she carries herself with grace and pours out mercy on those around her, a lot like Jesus, He made the ultimate sacrifice for us, He loves us no matter what, and He’s overflowing with Grace and Mercy.
I have been praying for an opportunity to talk with Ms. Ida about Jesus, I’ve been praying (and inviting her) for her to come to a City Night service, I have been asking God for unique opportunities to love Ms. Ida and for opportunities to spend time with her. So last night when she told me I could join her on her four block late night walk my heart got so excited, because this was one of those unique opportunities to spend time with Ms. Ida, and God completely opened a door for me to be able to share Jesus with her in a unique way. She opened the conversation without even knowing it, as we walked down N. Luzerne from the 400 to the 500 to the 600 to the 700 block the neighborhood becomes more desolate, as we crossed over one of the block, there were police cars and ambulances on the block, as she’s shaking her head, “There’s always something going on somewhere, people just don’t know.” As I pondered that thought, I thought to myself don’t know what, what don’t they know?
That scene reminded me to ask if she knew anything about what may have happened on Orleans the other night and it turns out there was a young girl, who had gotten so wasted on crack she was doing the “crack walk” across Orleans and someone hit her, and then Ms. Ida said again, “They just don’t know,” so I pryed, what don’t they know, “How far away from something Good they are.” So my immediate response, is you mean God? They don’t know how far from God they are? “Yes Ms. Colleen, that’s what I mean, I know I don’t do everything right, but I do know I am going to heaven, I do know who my God is,” as we walked down that dark street, and watched people sitting on their stoops drinking, smoking, talking about the next round I could hear Ms. Ida reminding people to say their prayers tonight and I just smiled to myself. This woman who I have fallen so in love with is teaching me so much, using little words.
As we walked back to her house, we talked about when her kids were little, talked about how she reminds me of my grandma and how much I miss her, she invited me to come to Pee-wee’s school with her tomorrow and meet his teachers, she told me about the nightly routine in her home, we laughed, we talked and in the moment I was relishing in the fact that God has once again provided me with something I longed for and missed in my life. My Grandmother and Ms. Ida are one in the same, my grandma was everyone’s grandma, she’d sacrifice her last dime to make sure all the hungry kids got to eat, she carried herself with so much grace and mercy, as I hugged Ms. Ida last night we firmed up plans to take Pee-wee to breakfast and then she reminded me to remember to say my prayers, I held on a little tighter and I looked up and saw the moon trying to peek out among the clouds and I thanked God.
Ms. Ida has overcome so much in her 50some years, and I am thankful and excited to spend more time getting to know her, I am excited to share laughs, tears, meals and love with her. I am excited to learn from her, and share Jesus with her in the most unique ways. Would you pray for Ms. Ida with me today? For strength, for wisdom and for blessings?