Friday, July 24, 2009

A Favor

If my life were a story, she would be one of my favorite characters. For the last 8 years, I have seen her nearly once a week when I drop off my dry cleaning. She has a genuineness about her that draws me to her, and her soul is undeniably rich. She has lived what I can gather from the stories she tells me a difficult life - raising 8 children without much money. But, she persevered, and her children are grown and have done well for themselves. Although she sees me every week or so, it is not uncommon for her to follow me out to the car so she can gasp and squeal at how cute my little boys are, how much they look like my husband, and how much they have grown.

Every time I come in, our conversation consists of 3 elements. . .

1.) How I look like "one of those old college girls. . ."
2.) How she is going to leave this place and go live with one of her daughters in Little Rock. "She just keeps begging me to come, and I'm gonna do it. One of these days I'm gonna go. . ." So, every time I enter the store and see her sitting on her little stool, I say the same thing, "Well, I see you are still here with us!" She just throws her head back and laughs a hardy, full belly laugh and assures me that she is going. . . one of these days. . . she is going.
3.) How she loves. her. doctor. (my Erik).

But, yesterday our visit was different. It was deep and moving. She cried, and I choked back tears as she shared something special with me. Last night as Erik and I lay together in the dark I shared our conversation with him word for word as best I could remember it. And, I could tell, even though I could not see his face, that he was moved. He has no idea the impact God makes on other people through him.

Our conversation went something like this. . .

Me: Well, I see you are still here!

Ms. D: Yes, I'm still here (chuckle). . . You know, I want to tell you somethin'. I am so proud of my doctor. I love my doctor. He saved my life. I wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for him. I believe that. You see, he's a good doctor cause he keeps lookin'. He just kept lookin' 'til he figured out what was wrong wit me. That's what makes him a good doctor. He worries 'bout his patients, thinks 'bout them, 'til he figures it out. I'm so proud of him. But, you know what it is? I tell you what it is that makes him a good doctor. He listens to God, the great physician. He told Dr. D. what was wrong wit me. That is how Dr. D. knew what was wrong wit' me. He asked God and God told him. And, that is why he's a good doctor. He listens to God. . . I love him. I tell you, I love him. He really cares, I tell you, he really cares. How are his parents?

Me: Well, his Dad is doing great, but it will be a long road for his mom. But, they are doing much better - bit by bit, day by day. . .

Ms. D.: Oh, good! I tell you I pray for them. Yes, I do. I pray all the time. I talk to God just like I'm talking to you. I just say what I'm thinkin' that is the kind of relationship we have. I just speak what's on my mind. I have prayed for his parents. . . even gone to the altar to pray for them. I had on high heels, but I didn't let that stop me. Even in my high heels, I got down on my knees at the altar and prayed for them. (At this point her deep voice began to crack.) I tell you what I said to God. I said, "Lord, please help these people. He is a good man. Dr. D. is a good man. Don't let him hurt. Please, Lord. (tears rolling down her weathered brown cheeks) Now, God, Dr. D. did a favor for me, and I am going to ask You to do a favor for him. Make his parents well. Dear Lord, make his parents well." And, you know what, Mrs. D., I believe. As I got up and walked away from the altar I just knowed. I just knowed in my heart. I believe He's going to do it. I can't explain it. I just know.
Me: (fighting tears) Wow. I appreciate that so much. I know Erik will, too. I'll tell him, but do me a favor and tell him that the next time you see him. It will encourage him so much. We love to hear that people are praying.
Mrs. D.: You take care of those boys now, you hear?
Me: Don't worry, I will! I love you.
Mrs. D.: Oh, baby, I love you, too.
It is amazing the power of words. I had chills all afternoon as I pondered the thought that this humble, sweet lady would ask God to do a favor for us.
Hidden behind baggy clothes and aging brown skin, is a soul with a beauty not of this world.


picturesofhisgrace said...

Ok, Erin, my eyes are full of tears now. How precious! I am so glad you shared this with us, but also that you have put it in your blog so you can remember it and the boys can see it one day. I would have cried right there with the lady. Love you guys!

Kelly said...

So, so precious- moved me so much. What a blessing she shared with you. God is so good, isn't He?

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...


Sammy said...

Absolutely beautiful.
Incredibly moving.
Thank you for sharing this story.

deana b said...

I wish everyone could actually hear her say those words. As I was reading it I could hear her voice speaking these precious words to you. And see the expressions on her face. And you really can't beat her laugh! Especially when it gets so high pitched. She does love her doctor. I hear it every time I go in. And I hope she doesn't leave any time soon. She really does bring a smile every time we go in there doesn't she? And she makes us slow down a little. Precious lady.

dee said...

I am so excited! I have been a reader of your blog for a good while now, but 2 months ago my laptop crashed and I haven't been able to read about your sweet family. When I saw your blog on another favorites' list this morning and read this post about a precious lady, it made my day! I will have fun going back to read posts about your summer. So glad to hear your inlaws continue making progress in their recoveries.

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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