Alone In a Crowd

This is just a little something I wrote of another’s experience, changing the name to protect the thoughtful, this past fall…

It was a Saturday night; the weekend of the Annual Festival in our town. Ramona walked down the lonely path from her home to the waterfront to watch the Fireworks display that took place over the water.

She arrived early as was her practice, to get a good viewing spot, not too close but not far away either. She enjoyed watching all the other people as they began to trickle in around her, eavesdropping on the various conversations. Just to have something to lean on, Ramona stood by a lamplight, masked in its shadows as she waited for the show to begin. For the moment, she felt like she was caught in a scene from an old, black-and-white movie.

It’s sad, but amusing; she had lived in this town for almost 30 years, and yet amidst the crowd and celebration she was alone and a stranger. Sure, people come from far and wide to the Bass Derby and Festival every year, even hundreds of them; But while Ramona wouldn’t know the majority of them, she thought she would have known at least some of them. However, she did see a couple of people she knew, but at this distance, they wouldn’t recognize her in the dark.

There’s always one or two in a crowd that are annoying loud-mouths. This time, the offending woman was standing not 5 feet from Ramona. She wasn’t really all that bad, but an annoying constant, keeping up a running commentary on the works. Knowing people will “Ahh” and “Ohhh” during the show, Ramona didn’t have a problem with that. But this particular woman kept saying, “Oh, here we go…,” as if on verbal auto-pilot for each one of the brilliant bursts of light shooting up over the river, then a little applause and the “Ahh… Ohh” from her and the rest of the crowd. Being one who likes to enjoy these shows quietly, Ramona tried to just focus on the display, and not the woman.

Other than that, the show was wonderful! 15 minutes of Fireworks and the Grand Finale made for a spectacular display, with the crowd going wild with the “ohhs and ahhs” and applause after the finale. Well worth the trip and time it took to get there.

Ramona definitely enjoyed the delight of the Fireworks over the river, and wandered back up the path towards home, feeling the only thing that could have made it better would have been having someone to share it all with! Turning back just once to look behind her, she noticed the crowd had disappeared, and that lamppost she’d been leaning on looked all the more lonely, without her.

People Are Crazy

I wrote this story back in mid-October, but wanted to share it with you.

Today started out like any other day. I took Rachel, my daughter, to school, cleaned up in the kitchen, and took care of some things at my desk. I then prepared to leave and run a few errands, most of which took place in two different towns.

So, I’m sitting at the only light in our little town waiting for it to change. After it finally turns green, I start to slowly pull out waiting for the other cars to cross so I can make my left turn. Much to my surprise, a car comes meandering into and through the intersection running the red light!

Wow! Thank the Lord, the car that I’d been waiting on had seen the offending vehicle on its meander, and had waited. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of watching the antics of this person, and what they would attempt.

Here I was, behind this vehicle; I believe it was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. As I follow this Jeep, I notice it begin to weave back and forth and tail-gating very closely to the car ahead. I’m thinking, “Ok, either they’ve been drinking, (a bit early for that though, it’s barely past noon) or they’re trying to text and drive. Whatever was going on, something was not right. They kept weaving from side to side, and I kept my distance.

Soon, we reach the first passing lane. I was just watching to see what they’re gonna do next. Wouldn’t you know it, the car ahead of the Jeep decided they weren’t going to move to the slower lane, so the Jeep quickly passes them on the right, second illegal move of the day.

The driver then speeds up, flying down the passing lane portion on the highway, coming to the next big hurdle; a big grocery delivery truck. Unsuccessful in his attempt to pass the truck, for the next 10-15 miles this Jeep was tail-gating this big truck, still swerving from side to side, apparently an attempt to get the drivers attention, and chompin’ at the bit to get around it, too!

Watching all this transpire from a safe distance, I see there’s one car between the Jeep and my own, by this time; both of us are keeping a safe distance. (Ya just never know what’s gonna happen next, so better safe than sorry!)

Finally pulling into town, this character is doing his best the whole time to find a way to get around this big truck, to no avail. In town there are 2 lanes and so the Jeep driver jumps over to the newly opened section of road and takes off, only to come to the first stop-light in town, and it’s just turned red!

By this time, I really wanted to see if the driver was a mad-man or a crazy lady, so I got into the right lane. To my utter amazement, as I’m coming to a complete stop for the red, the driver keeps going, running the stoplight! This was the third illegal act I’d witnessed for the day, all from the same person! I was simply flabbergasted!

Wow! I just never know what to expect when driving down our Hwy 12. Always gotta be on the alert. The real kicker to this whole scene; The Jeep had a handicap sticker on the plate!

Entertaining Angels Unaware!

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)

 

My Pastor has been preaching on Grace all this month. Today was on Grace in Action. Yesterday, I witnessed Grace in Action.

Sometimes in our day-to-day activities, God will allow things to happen that cause us to pause and really take a look at our lives and those that we encounter. And in such an instance, one is never too sure but that you could have just entertained an Angel, or two, without even realizing it until you stop and analyze or meditate on what happened.

God has given me a heart for the homeless and years ago He instructed me to give as He provides to the ones on the street with the cardboard signs. So, if I have spare dollars or change, they get at least one and sometimes two. I know it’s not much, but they’re usually grateful for whatever they get. I also usually give them the gospel too, if I’m able.

After an afternoon of errand-running, I left the last store and had just reached the van, talking on my phone, when I was approached by a man in a wheelchair. He kept his distance so as not to startle or frighten me, but really, I was not afraid at all. He was about to leave when he saw that I was involved in a conversation. I told him “give me a second” and I quickly ended my call. He explained what his situation was and I in turn handed him a dollar bill. As I handed it to him, I said “Jesus loves you!” He immediately said “Yes, I know! He’s my Lord and Savior!” So, now, he had my attention. As I looked him in the eye, I knew he was being truthful. We had an instant connection in the Spirit. We just started talking about Jesus and then his wife approached us and joined in the conversation.

As soon as she heard what we were talking about, she said “let’s pray, can we pray together right now?” I agreed and we three joined hands right there in the Wal-mart parking lot and she took off praying like there was no tomorrow. She prayed a blessing over me and kept praying and it was gloriously anointed!

When she finished praying, we talked for a few more minutes and I was strongly impressed to give them what remained in my wallet. Wasn’t much but I knew there was more where it came from and they sure needed it more than I did.

We hugged and I got their names and gave them mine; I regret that I didn’t get any other contact information from them. I’d love to see them again.

As they were walking, riding away from me, I said, “I’ll see you again, in heaven!” She said, “now that’s the kinda talk I like to hear!” Her name was unusual and unfortunately, I didn’t write it down, so I can’t remember what it was. But God knows. His name is Clarence.

These two had such a powerful impact on me that I prayed for them all the way home and I woke up at 2 or 3 this morning with them strongly on my mind and prayed for them some more. Then the thought hit me; wow, for all I know, I just might have encountered two of God’s Angels, they had the best attitudes and were full of joy despite being homeless. The Grace of God was definitely evident in their lives and they sure taught me to be content with what God has blessed me with; a roof over my head and food in my belly and clothes on my back.

My Android Mishap

My phone had started acting up. It was automatically force-closing on most applications I would attempt to open, apparently due to internal memory filling near capacity. Checking the memory, I found it was in actuality only about half full. That was enough for it to warn me to transfer data over to the phone’s removable SD card. Apparently, my best attempt wasn’t good enough.

So, off to the store I went to purchase a larger SD card. “Just transfer files from one card to the other,” the store manager told me; HA! Yeah, right! While I’d purchased the new card on Friday, I really hadn’t had the chance to do anything about it due to a very busy weekend. (Another story for another time.)

Come Monday evening, I decide it’s time to get this card transfer done. So, the package clearly describes how to begin the procedure; remove the SD card from the phone and insert into the included card reader, insert into the USB port and begin transferring content.

That’s it? That’s ALL the instruction I get? Uh oh… now I’m really in trouble. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done any data transfer… and I’ve slept since then! All that knowledge is buried, way back in the recesses of my mind; not too much confidence in getting it all back.

As my closest friends are well-aware, I’m a person who thrives on detail. I need to know the full story (or full instructions, as the case may be). All around me, I see things in detail. I’m a people watcher and I notice most of the little things that many other people tend to miss; minute details, whether I’m reading an article, a book, or whatever. I notice things most editors miss; tiny little things, like a missing or misplaced apostrophe or other irregularities.

I’m also a very curious person. and I got that from my dad. He, too, was extremely curious, always asking questions. In fact, whenever he would ask a person, “can I ask you a question?” you knew the curiosity had gotten the better of him. We all would know what was coming next! I sure do miss him, but I digress…

Time to call in the reinforcements. I emailed a dear friend (who is also my writing mentor, webmaster, and a great techie) and explained what I was doing, and emphasized that I needed detailed, step-by-step instructions to get this done right.

So, he writes it all out for me and emails me back. Great, right? Well… as it was late and I was tired, when trying to determine which disc to copy, I pulled up both the removable disks G & J, having no idea which was the internal memory and which was the SD card…ugh. I then did something that I would later come to regret, transferring everything onto what I thought was the SD card, from the file I had created earlier.

Thinking, “Great, it’s all done now,” I rebooted the phone, checked the memory, and it’s worse than before! Once again, everything was Force-Closing on me. “Oh dear! Now what did I do?” Having thought that maybe I’d gotten a faulty SD card, I decided to take this back to the store in the morning; that way, I could let or make them fix it. After all, that’s what they do, right?

To make a long story even longer, I went to the store and managed to get the Tech that I asked for, and thankfully, they weren’t busy when I arrived! For a little over 2 hours, the guy worked on my phone and knew exactly what he was doing, being very patient with me and my sordid tale, completely understanding when I explained what I had done.

Because the internal memory was still too full, even after deleting a great deal of the apps and other data, he ended up having to do a Factory Reset, despite the transfer being done correctly. However, we made sure that the data I needed was safely backed-up; well, most of it…

Oh, and, apparently I had transferred everything over to the internal memory instead of the card…sigh

But, I’m happy now, my phone is like new again, and everything works well.