The Red Umbrella
I stood in the checkout line waiting my turn, and was drawn to the little lady in front of me as she waited patiently holding her red umbrella. She turned to me and said, “My knees hurt.” Moved with compassion I told her how sorry I was. Her simple statement was then followed by a question, “Are you driving along Sixth Avenue today?” Sixth Avenue was in the absolute opposite direction of where I was going.
My day had started off with a full agenda. Our van had been in the shop and as I picked it up I was annoyed with how filthy it was. I intended to see it cleaned right away. However, here stood this little lady with sore knees. I couldn’t reject her need. My messy van and further agenda would simply have to wait.
Her grin lit up her face as I told her as long as she didn’t mind waiting for me I would be happy to drive her home. I settled her in the front seat and she began rubbing her hand across the dash telling me how nice my van was. As she glanced around she just kept telling me how nice and “brand new” my van looked. My previously voiced frustrations kept echoing in my ears while this precious little lady was telling me how blessed I was. She then began telling me her story. Her husband died years earlier, she had gone through cancer 4 times and now she is having trouble with her knees. For 32 years she has rented a little apartment and has never had a car. My heart was getting a work over! As I neared her address she asked me to stop. I couldn’t just drop her off in the middle of the street but she said her alley was really muddy and she was just going to walk to her apartment. I was so sad watching her cross the street. I couldn’t let her do that. I turned around and went back for her but she was gone. She was nowhere to be found.
Tears filled my eyes as I began to wonder if the Lord had sent me an angel to remind me of my need to be thankful. I couldn’t even bring myself to wash my van. I headed home. Once parked in my driveway I reach for my purse and there in my passenger seat sat her red umbrella. Will I ever find her? Maybe not, but that red umbrella still sets in my van as a reminder of the day this little lady appeared in my life and taught me a much needed lesson in being thankful.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18