Road to Freedom Tour Archive

Strangely Familiar

Posted November 28, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I wound my way from my house to the main road, turned north and headed toward the nearest town five miles away. I passed the local Walmart and, my curiosity getting the best of me, I just had to see what lay beyond the next hill. So, I pressed on.

As I approached the traffic light where two major US highways intersected, it felt strangely familiar. I could not recall having come this far north since moving to my little corner of Tennessee, and yet, it was as though I’d spent time here.

When the Golden Arches came into view on the left, I realized I HAD been here! Not only had I traveled this way on the Road to Freedom Bicycle Tour, I’d stopped at that very McDonald’s! That is where I’d met Hazel, the little girl who’d been abused by her father.

My mind replayed the day I stopped there to blog and had been surrounded by the locals. It had seemed so far away from anything at the time. We sat for over two hours as I regaled them with my stories of the road, and the women God sent me to help.

Little Hazel had been waiting in the wings to meet The Bicycle Lady. She was shy, sweet and loving. It angered me that her father would harm her in that way. Her only concern was that God might be mad at her for causing her daddy to go to jail.

It was a magical moment of ministry when I told her that not only was God not mad at her, but He was angry at her father as well for harming her. It was as though the weight of the entire universe had been lifted off her little shoulders.

Of all those I met on the Road to Freedom Tour, Hazel always stood out the most. I never imagined that some two years later, the place I call home would be just up the road. Perhaps one day our paths will cross again. Maybe she will grow up to save others from the despicable acts she was forced to endure. One thing’s for sure. She entered the fast food joint that day as a shy withdrawn little girl but left a tower of strength and courage.

I believe God has moved mightily in Hazel’s life since I rode off into the great American heartland. Such a divine appointment could not have come to any other end. I’m grateful I got to meet Hazel. I’m amazed at her resilience. I’m envious of her smile.

As I drove away and the Golden Arches faded in my rearview mirror, I felt as though I’d come full circle. Somehow, and in some way, The Bicycle Lady had ministered to a little girl in rural Tennessee and today my reward is calling this amazing place home.

Hazel.

Home.

Life.

The Heartbeat of America does not beat any more loudly than this.

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Those Who Fought

Posted September 11, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I opened the door with sweaty palms and flipped the TV on as I dropped to the floor to stretch from my morning run. Matt and Katie were droning on the Today Show about some explosion. I wasn’t really listening.

Second by second, the views on the screen shook my awareness and I sat up straight realizing this was not a replay of some historical event. As I lay on plush carpet in sunny Florida, my neighbors in New York were under attack.

For hours, days and weeks following that day, we Americans tried to make sense of it all. We offered empty words of encouragement to those who lost loved ones. Bravely vowed we would go on, even rebuild.

Men and women stood in line to volunteer for our armed forces. As a nation, we went and we conquered our enemies. We took back that which we are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America: freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Today, fourteen years later, some of us don’t feel the pain as raw as it was that day. We have found a way to go on living in America. We have found ways to honor those who fought and remember those who died by living our lives to the fullest.

I can only imagine that day when dust from a towering monstrosity of American capitalism darkened the streets of Manhattan, choking the life out of those who had built it into the success it was. If I listen, I can almost hear the crushing of metal as the buildings destroyed fire trucks and police cars as if they were toys under foot.

I cannot comprehend the hollowness of empty fire houses where brave men and women once served, or wives, husbands and children who waited in desperation to hear from their loved one they knew was in the line of fire. As the days and weeks passed, so did the hope that some miracle had saved them from that tragic fate.

No, I was not there and I can only look at video feeds and pictures and unsuccessfully conjure up in my limited imagination what it must have felt like. Many died that day, and in the years that followed.

Though I fail miserably at trying to understand the enormity of painful loss on that day, this I know with absolutely unwavering certainty. AMERICA DID NOT LOSE! That one event that rocked our world and sent Americans into a tailspin, also ignited the flame of freedom within the hearts of us all.

From the northern most part of main to the border of southern California, Americans stood up for our nation. We united together for one cause. We joined hands across racial, ethical and political barriers to stand for what we believe in: FREEDOM!

Years have passed and headlines have moved more toward politics and fashion but today we live in a thriving nation because of 9/11. America picked ourselves up by the bootstraps and did what we do: keep living.

Today we remember those who fought in New York City, at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania that day. We remember those who dropped everything and took up arms to fight since then. We pause with gratitude as we memorialize those who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Freedom is not free. But free Americans we are on this sunny September day. Americans we will remain because of who we are, and in spite of who our enemies are.

GOD BLESS THE USA!

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Tennessee Homecoming

Posted September 2, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I sat in the back seat having an easy conversation with my great friend, Mary as her husband navigated the narrow curved roads in the backwoods of Western Tennessee. Her son road shotgun. I stopped midsentence when I gazed out the window to find my new home come into view.

Decades of searching for where I belong suddenly paled into insignificance. I was home. As I walked around the home, I didn’t care about the architecture, though it was excellent and well planned. Instead, my attention went to the people who surrounded me.

After decades of coming home to a quiet and empty place, the house I would soon be hanging my hat was filled with people. Real, genuine, good, fun-loving people who were not only gracious, they welcomed me with open arms. Friends. New neighbors. They treated me like one of their own.

After taking care of business, we traveled a short distance to reunite with war hero Willie Shelton. He was as humble and gracious as he’d been when I met him two years ago. We talked like old friends in the house that Mary grew up in. When I met her twin sister, she acted as though we’d known each other for years.  

The next day, I needed to run some errands. Mary’s son willingly offered his jeep so I would not have to take my truck. I’d developed a slight infection in my hand and made a quick trip to urgent care for antibiotics. They treated me like I’d been a patient of theirs for eons. When I went to get the prescription filled, the cashier at Walmart asked to step down to the other end of the counter so the pharmacist could put my medication in a bag for me. Though puzzled,  I did as I was told and the pharmacist approached me eagerly and told me much more than I needed to know about the simple antibiotic.

I mentioned my encounter to Mary and she looked at me as if I’d just grown a second nose. She told me that was pretty much common place around Tennessee. I’d never experienced that in the decades I spent in the Sunshine State. She recommended I get used to it.

Over the past two years, I’ve traveled in all 48 continuous states and Canada. Most were beautiful. All were unique but they just were not home. Truth be told, I’ve been on a journey my entire life trying to find home. I visited places, would like what I saw and would pray, “God, is this home?” Nothing ever fit. Because of how I grew up, I vowed that when I turned eighteen, I would call wherever I lived home. Unfortunately, I was in Florida. Florida is a wonderful place but it’s just not for me. I spent decades being true to my childhood vow. I resided in that state for a long time… an eternity to spend in a place that never felt like I belong.

Today I have a place to call home. Really, truly home. It’s not in the Great Lone Star State of Texas where I used to ride horses and play with cows. Nor is it in the Sunshine State, where I grudgingly walked through hot sand for over forty years. It’s in the Tennessee hills, a land rich in history. My home is where men fought and died for what they believed in, and forged the backbone of this great nation we call America. Strangely, my heart has been here for quite some time. I just did not know it.

For the first time in my life, when I started Dusty and pulled out onto the open road again, I did so with a twinge in my heart. I could have stayed longer. One more walk through the countryside. Another dinner and sharing life with amazing people.

I’ll look forward to coming home again. Until then, I’ll learn to wear orange without thinking it’s a Florida Gator, make plans and dream about my next Tennessee Homecoming.

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Forever Joplin

Posted August 22, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

The sun peaked over the rolling hills to the east as I pounded the pavement on my early morning run in Joplin, Missouri. A cool, gentle breeze kissed my cheeks as birds sang out to encourage me to continue my trek.

I rounded a corner into a neighborhood just as a little old lady was bending to pick up the morning paper.

“You’re out early. Can’t say’s I blame you. Beautiful morning, ain’t it?”

I took that my cue to stop and strike up a conversation. Poor lady. She never saw it coming. Something had intrigued me since the tornado ripped through this town on May 22, 2011 and I needed to ask the local about it. Once I confirmed that she was born and raised there, I dove in.

“When the tornado hit and in its aftermath, what were you thinking about?”

“My friends, my family and neighbors who lost so much.”

“So the tornado did not strike your house?”

“Oh yes, they had to rebuild the whole backside of our house. And our barn was completely gone.”

I was astonished. “And yet, you were thinking about everyone else?”

Gertrude (Gerty) looked at me as if I’d just stepped out of an alien spaceship. “Why of course I did. Why on earth would I not?”

I went on to explain to her about the Road to Freedom Tour and how media, television, the movies and politicians have led us to believe Americans are not like that any more. That we don’t take care of our own. That the America I grew up in is gone forever.

A tear trickled down Gerty’s cheek as she gazed off into the past through the window of her soul. She took a long breath then said, “No one told Joplin. We’re a small town of good folks who love each other and our country. Right after the storm the biggest problem we faced was that we couldn’t find our loved ones, not because we were injured or missing. But we couldn’t confirm everyone was alright because we wouldn’t stay at home.We all insisted on going out  to help each other. Their homes were damaged, even destroyed and yet their first concern was for others. It took over a week for us to make sure everyone in the family was safe.

“That’s who we’ve always been and we’ll remain forever Joplin.”

I thanked her for taking the time to answer my question and jogged off. With each strike of my foot on the pavement, I clearly heard the sound of the Heartbeat of America with gratitude that once again I received confirmation that it is alive and well.

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Ladies of the Evening, Children of the Light

Posted May 6, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Two nights in a row.
Two Prostitudes.
Two southern towns.
Two souls saved.

Just when I thought my friend, Brandilyn Collins’ “Pitchin’ a Fit” is just a great read, something happened.

One night it was “Miz Sexy” in Montgomery, Alabama. The next night it was “Blue Satin” in Hot-lanta. Each of them knocked on the door to my truck hoping I’d purchase her services. The trucking industry calls them lot lizards. I call the lost souls so rather than shooing them away, I hopped out of my truck and struck up a conversation.

They both lived rough lives and had basically been on there own for a LONG time. Not bad gals at all. Just misguided and in life situations where they had to rely on their own survival instincts. I didn’t have Bibles but as it turned out, they most likely would have not been receptive. But I handed them each  a copy of the humorous book written by my friend. Brandilyn had just sent me some copies.

Rain dampened their, umm, business so they had some down time. The next morning a very strange thing happened.

On two consecutive mornings, each of these women knocked on my door a second time. At first I thought they were still working and just didn’t remember that I wasn’t buying. But, I saw tears in each of their eyes. Each of them had read Brandilyn’s book (or at least part of it) overnight.

They said they soooo identified wtih the feelings portrayed and asked me if I could help them. I was able to lead each of them to The Lord and point them in a Godly direction.

Each of them clutched that paperback like it was a brick of gold. The books were damp from the rain and were already showing what would soon become dog ears. Their countenance had changed. It glowed somehow as if they’d been washed clean. I saw hope in their eyes, something boldly absent the nights before.

I’d be foolish to think that would be the end of the story. It would be so easy for them to go back to their business as soon as the kiddie ran low. So I contacted local street ministries in each town and told them what had happened. Each agreed to follow up with them.

Today on the streets of Montgomery and Atlanta, there are two woman. I met them as ladies of the evening, selling their bodies for supper money. I left them as children of the light, filled with hope of a better life… eternal life forged by a God who created them and loves them.

Doesn’t get much better than that. 

Get Brandilyn Collins’ book “Pitchin’ a Fit” here

 

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Matters of the Heart

Posted January 24, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Those of you who follow me in social media (if you aren’t, why not?), you know that week before last I injured my knee. I slipped in ice while performing my pretrip inspection on my truck at 4am in Alabama. I endured several days of serious pain. It was my clutch knee.

Last Friday night, I took Austin (my brand new Freightliner Cascadia Lightweight truck) in for his very first oil change in Amarillo, Texas. On Sunday afternoon, Austin broke down in the middle of Wild West-and wild wind-Wyoming. God always provides. If you’ve ever driven on Interstate 80 across Wyoming, you know there is nothing there but it just so happened that when my truck broke down, it was at one of very few exits. Literally.  AND, there was one thing at that exit: a TA truck stop.

I coasted down the ramp, to the right into the truck stop (I didn’t stop for the stop sign. Nothing was coming), and into a parking space at the truck stop. I remained there for two days until the folks at my company had Austin towed 100+ miles into Salt Lake City to the Freightliner dealership.

Today is day seven of this adventure and I’m still in a hotel. The week has been a rollercoaster of events. My emotions have run the gammit from patient to furious, positive to hopeless, determined to wanting to chuck it all and pull Dakota (my bicycle) out of storage and take to the open road on him again.

Those who know me know I don’t have family. I can’t go cry on sis’s shoulder, get a hug from dad or have big bro punch someone’s lights out. But, I have you and so many of you have reached out in support. Emails, phone calls, texts, FB posts. The outpouring has been amazing! Thank you, by the way. I wouldn’t have been able to endure this week without you. But even with that, I have to admit there have been moments where I looked out to the surrounding snow capped mountains and felt all alone in a great big world.

Then it hit me. I feel and sense emotion on a very deep level. God gave me that gift so that I can understand what others go through on an experiential level. That way I can help them. He showed me decades ago that I cannot show others the way unless I’ve traveled that road. Remembering that took my attention off my troubles- and my broken down brand new truck- and to those I serve… and those whom I’ve never met who need to be encouraged.

I wanted to quit. I admit it. I wanted to tell the wonderful company I work for and the dealership who built Austin to take their broken down truck and shove it. But one thing stopped me. I’m not a quitter. I wonder how many people have been driven to the brink of their emotional cliff and jumped. I know some. I’m sure you do, too. I also know most of them regretted having made that decision.

I’m writing this in the lobby of the hotel in a nice comfy chair in front of the fireplace with a view of the rocky mountains. The ambiance is wonderful but the main reason I do it is when I’m all alone up in my room, my thoughts turn negative and my positive attitude that keeps me strong begins to crumble. I begin to suffer all alone in the silence of my room.

I know there are thousands of people out there who are doing just that. They don’t tell anyone they are suffering. Their tears are not seen. Their hearts cry at moments when others are not around. Their sad and painful matters of the heart are not shared with anyone. One day, they just disappear… or die a lonely death.

What I’ve been going through this last week has nothing to do with trucks, oil changes, my company or Freightliner. It has everything to do with my purpose to help others overcome… and to become. Someone has to know how they feel. They need to find the way through the emotional quagmire to freedom and then go back to show others the way.

I’m an encourager. I know that. It’s my God-given purpose. The Heartbeat of America blog will continue and I’ll continue to bring you stories from the amazing people I meet. In addition to that, I’m also going to share insights with you on matters of the heart. I’ve been working for a while on a new podcast that will be uplifting, encouraging and hopefully will help you see life’s events in a different light. I’m also considering BlogTalk radio.

I really need your help. You have all been so faithful and supportive both during my Road to Freedom Tour, and with my trucking adventure which I unwittingly termed Road to Freedom 2.0. Little did I know at the time that title would be so profound.

In the weeks and months to come, I will be sharing some deep things of the heart. Those things that pluck at your heart strings. I’ll share hope in the midst of what appears to be hopelessness. I’ll share stories of those who have overcome… stories of triumph, my own and those of others I meet along my journey.

If this resonates with you, I would like to ask you to help me in the following ways:

Please pray that God will lead those who need to hear this message to the blog, the podcast and any other media outlet that opens up.

Please share the blog with others in your social circles and ask them to pray about doing the same.

Please comment on the blog. I will do my best to respond to each comment as my life on the road allows. I utilize a service called LiveFyre to filter out spam from my comments so you’ll have to sign up once and be approved by me to leave comments. It’s not an email capture and sell scam. LifeFyre is my spam filter service. It’s completely safe for you to give your information to.

That would mean so much to me as I ratchet up my blog a notch or two and include matters of the heart. So many of you have asked for this. God is showing me it’s time to do it.

Thank you all for being such faithful supporters during the Road to Freedom Tours. Your encouragement has kept me going forward, helping to heal the wounded, encourage the discouraged and bring the truth of God’s joy to a hurting nation. You honor me.

This blog post is long today but for some reason, I cannot bring myself to apologize for its length. God bless you, my friends.

 

 

 

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2014 Road to Freedom: It’s All About YOU!

Posted January 6, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I spent most of 2013 preparing for and pedaling across America on the Road to Freedom Tour> I was able to help women across the country who are victims of violent assault. It was the most amazing adventure of my life. I will never be the same.

Reporter Steve Beavers and me.

Reporter Steve Beavers and me.

Thank you for your support, your prayers, your love and encouragement as I took this message on the road. It’s what kept me going when times got tough. You gave me the strength to face each obstacle and endure every challenge. As I reached out to these women, I was your hands outstretched.

I’ve prayed long and hard about the next steps for Road to Freedom. While I don’t yet have all the answers, I have come to one conclusion. I MUST help you set and reach your bold goals. You deserve to live your dream. The world needs your unique message.

To that end, during 2014, the Road to Freedom blog will be devoted to helping YOU. Pure and simple. I will encourage YOU. I will provide insight and tools to help YOU live your dream. I will help YOU get beyond those roadblocks and to scale those mountains that stand in the way.

Dream Road

I’ll share stories of those who overcame. I’ll inspire you to reach beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving. I’ll walk with you this year just like you pedaled with me last year. I’m so grateful for you. This is my way of giving back to you. 

I look forward to a wonderful year together. I expect to hear from you. I want to know about your successes, your disappointments, your challenges. I want to celebrate your wins with you and let  you cry on my shoulder during those inevitable times when you fall short of the mark you set for yourself. 

Thank you for an amazing 2013. Thank you also for allowing me to pay it back in this way in 2014. 

Have you set your 2014 goals yet? If not, please do that this week. If you don’t, you’ll blink at it will be April.

Who do you know that would benefit from this encouragement and inspiration? Please invite them to join my mailing list so I can send it to them automatically every day.

"The Beginning" Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

What are your biggest challenges you face this year? Send me an email at reba@rebajhoffman.com. I’ll be sure to address those in upcoming blog posts and offer sound advice.

Together, you and I will make this the most amazing and successful year yet. 

What are your goals for this year? Did you write them down yet? Share them here.

 

 

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Just Let Me Work My Puzzle

Posted December 2, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

This past week, I met a homeless lady. I’ll call her Sally. She’s elderly and even indoors she sat bundled up in every ounce of clothing she possessed. She wore a funny knitted hat on her head with pompoms and multiple colored yarns. The fingers of her gloves had long since worn away.

I was intrigued by the fact that she wasn’t begging for money or food. Instead, she sat calmly working crossword puzzles. I couldn’t resist asking her about it.

“Keeps my mind sharp. I ain’t no spring chicken, ya know.”

I asked her how she became homeless. She’d lost her job—a very good one—and at her age, wasn’t able to recover. She lost her home and everything she owned. Sally was making the best of a bad situation.

She spent as much time each day out of the weather by working crossword puzzles in local eateries, libraries and stores.

crossword puzzle
“It’s amazing how people don’t even question me when I sit down at a table with my newspaper and pen. I suppose they figure I belong there if I’m smart enough to work my puzzle.”

Like I did, Sally stayed in that place for hours. But she studied the words, figured out ways to make them fit into the puzzle and stuck it out until every block was filled on the page.

Her tenacity put me to shame. I was humbled by her peace in the midst of a terrible situation in her life. She was definitely making the best of it.

Deep within each of us lies the Sally factor. When things get tough, we can figure out a way to go on, to make the best of an unfortunate life circumstance and be joyful in the midst of personal loss.

 Puzzle Piece

Sally doesn’t have money. Nor does she have a consistent place to lay her head at night. She has no control over a lot of things in her life. But, she has fully embraced those things she does have control over.

She keeps her mind sharp by picking up discarded newspapers and completing the crossword puzzles. She stays warm during the day by finding a table out of the way in a local business. She doesn’t cause trouble and she always greets you with a smile. She has hope, joy and a positive outlook.

Sally is the epidome of the survival instinct that is within all of us. We find a way to go on. To recover from tragedy. To rebuild after things have been torn down. Life is one big puzzle and we all have to figure out how to make the pieces fit. Sally has a head start.


Homeless Young Boy Holding a Sign

I’m so grateful I met Sally. In so many ways, she’s much wealthier than we are. She’s tapped into the riches inside her and used it to survive each day. Sally is an amazing woman and I’m so blessed to have met her.

Have you met someone who is in a bad situation but always makes the best of it? Are you one of those people? Share it here!

 

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Meltdown in the Candy Store

Posted November 19, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I took a break from writing yesterday and wound up in the mall. I know, so out of character for me but I was on a mission.  In one particular small store, I noticed the manager was a bit flustered. As I struck up a conversation with him (surprised, aren’t you? haha), he told me about a woman who frequents all the stores in the mall. She always gives them a hard time and demands things they simply cannot give her.

Interior of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelel II 1865-1877 Milan, Italy

When I told him I wanted to meet her, he gave me a description of her and I set off through the mall in search of the hot headed woman. I heard her before I saw her. She was having a meltdown in the candy store. I stood outside observing her tirade for several moments she walked out in a huff. It appears the manager would not allow her to take home a sample of every candy in the jars. There were dozens.

CAndy Canes

I slid into step with her as she marched to the next store. “How long were you abused?” I asked her as we walked.

She stopped dead in her tracks and stared at me with HUGE eyes. “I know you’re not talking to me.” She put her hands on her wide hips, her eyes narrowed as she pierced her lips.

I took a deep breath and tried not to shake. “You’ve learned to survive quite well. I don’t think I would have thought to have a meltdown in a candy store. Congratulations on learning to live life in spite of your abuse.”

Angry, Frustrated Woman

There are moments when a pregnant pause is a good thing. It adds effect and makes the audience grave the next thing. In my case, I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to what the next thing could be. At best, a tongue lashing would come. She was also quite capable of beating me to a pulp. But I knew she was hurting because only hurting people intentionally hurt other people.

Slowly her hands dropped to her sides and her face fell into sadness. “How did you know?”

For the next thirty minutes, Shaniqua told me about her stepfather’s daily abuse. Her mother had been paralyzed by the fear and told her to just do what the abuser said. That way they would have a roof over their heads and he would not hurt them.

Various Truffles

I introduced her to life beyond survival and assured her it was within her reach. Shaniqua admitted she was angry, bitter and took it out in everyone she could. Interestingly, she came to the mall to feel safe. She screamed at everyone so she could be in control. 

I put her in touch with some resources that could help her overcome and cope with her past. She grabbed me in a bear hug, grateful that I’d stopped her. I was offering thanks that she wasn’t crushing my bones in anger.

As I walked back out to the parking lot, I was reminded that there is always a reason behind how human beings behave. Always. If we can take a moment to look beyond the meltdown in the candy store, we will understand–and even diffuse–the anger. We just might be able to help someone overcome.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you been in a situation where God used you to make a difference? Share it here!

 

 

 

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Starting All Over Again

Posted November 15, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Yesterday I went for an early morning walk in the cold. I’m in a new climate and the only way I can acclimate is to actually be out in it. So, I put on all my Florida “winter wear” and took to the roads in the 20 degree morning refrigerator. A half hour later, I wound up at the local Goodwill store. It wasn’t yet time for the store to open and a half dozen men and women braved the cold out in front, waiting for someone to come and unlock the doors.

Goodwill Industries 2

I walked up in the middle of an interesting conversation so I sat down of the brick wall to have a listen. A young man in his mid-thirties with very sad eyes told how he has a masters degree, was at the top of his field when he lost his job… and all his other worldly belongings. All he had left was the shirt on his back.

 

Goodwill Industries

“I have a job interview today and can’t even buy a new suit.” He sounded panicked and rightfully so. He’d been out of work for over a year and had a lot riding on this interview. He was wearing faded jeans with holes in the knees and a tattered sweatshirt that said, “Get Naked”. He explained that he had to borrow the sweatshirt from someone so he wouldn’t get frostbite. 

Just as a worker unlocked the doors, a woman locked her arm in his and pulled him into the store. “You stick with me. I’ll get you shined up like a new penny. I’m the master at being poor.”

Homeless Person

I couldn’t help but go in and observe the “shining”. The older woman poured over the racks for discarded menswear and within a matter of minutes, had picked out a handsome ensemble. When the young man stepped out of the dressing room, his discouragement had been replaced with professionalism and confidence… all for $12.92.

I marveled at the resourcefulness this woman had. Hmmm… the ingenuity of the poor. Those individuals who are forced to find creative ways to stretch a penny. Who will convince their kids canned tomato soup poured over pasta is spaghetti. Who just know you can get eighteen oatmeal raisin cookies at the Family Dollar store for a buck.

Autumn Fence3

As I continued my morning walk in the brisk autumn air, I realized this world belongs to them. Those who can take whatever comes and turn it into a success. As I left Goodwill, I meandered along the railroad tracks and said a prayer for that young man and his job interview. I also thanked God that he’s just learned how to create something magnificent out of nothing. I”m absolutely sure his masters degree had not taught him how to start all over again.

 

AutumnColors4

God said in the Bible that the meek shall inherit the earth. After witnessing the deliverance of a man from his plight on the concrete floors of Goodwill, I know they have what it takes to do just that. Shucks, the poor are going to conquer the world. In fact, they may already have!

Have you ever had to start all over again? What did you learn along the way? Share it here!

 

 

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