She called and left a message that would tear the most hardened of hearts right out of their chest.
My name is Ivy and I am 62 years old and 100 pounds. I am stranded in Sanford and have been awake for the last 48 hours. I am at the Dennys and the manager said I can stay here until 5:00 p.m. and then I must move along. I am trying to get to Miami, but son doesn’t get off until 6:00 p.m. Please can someone help me <uncontrolled crying> I am desperate!
My heart breaks as I listen to her sobbing and pleas of help…of hope. I am at a loss…how can I help this woman. “Lord, show me what to do…please!” She’s in a strange town…far from home and far from family. I do the only thing I know to do — I jump into gear!
The first thing I do is call my best friend, Karen, and ask her if she can run to Dennys and pick up Ivy. “Who in the world is Ivy, Tam?” “She is a lady stranded here in Sanford…she needs our help, Karen!” “Well, I just walked out of the grocery store and I have cold stuff and what in the world do I do once I get her?” “Bring her to my house,” I say. “Okay — I’m on my way!”
Karen arrives at Dennys, walks in, sees a battle-worn, frail, and tired woman and says, “Are you Ivy?” Ivy says, “Yes, but who are you?” “Well, I am Tam’s friend!” Ivy retorts, “Who is Tam?” Karen explains that I am her friend and I received Ivy’s frantic message and that she has come to collect her to take her to my house! The manager helps put Ivy’s luggage in Karen’s car and they drive to my house.
Ivy and Karen enter through my front door and I see a woman that the world has all but abandoned. She appears every bit as battle-worn as anyone I’ve ever seen — there are chinks in her armor — she needs love…the love of God and a kindred spirit.
I invite her in and offer her a place on the couch next to me —“Welcome, Ivy!” “Please make yourself at home.” I tell her that she can rest here until her son can drive up from Miami — she can take a nap — we’ll fill her belly — all is well! She sits down — in shock — overcome with gratefulness and begins to weep. I reach over and clasp her hand and say, “All is well!”
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35
As she pulls out her phone and calls her son, there is relief now in her heart — she is safe — she is loved — she is sheltered.
Then Karen, Dave (my husband), and I begin talking and we hatch a God-breathed plan to take Ivy to Miami ourselves. Ivy begins to weep again, calls her boy, and we load up into the car and begin our journey.
Join me tomorrow, as we continue our journey with Ivy on calloused knees.