Oh what a memory!

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Some nine years ago, I learned of her (my late friend, Cindy Ross) dream when we parked in front of the old, abandoned building; when a man walked up and used the bathroom in the shadows of the broken doors and windows—just out of sight.
She remarked, “Did you see that? That’s my building!”
“Your building?”
“Yes! I’ve always wanted to buy it. I would have done this and that and used it for this and that.” She explained her hopes of things unseen, of what she had once planned—but it never unfolded—except inside her mind. Her explanations were like many dreams, those we all have from time to time. 
She and I stepped from the car, joining a group of friends who were holding a picnic for the homeless, just down the street.
On that July day, we would linger and mingle and laugh and find the fragrance of God’s love, as we hung out with some of the most precious people—eating hamburgers and singing songs. It was like the Lord renovated our hearts with new dreams.
We also had 300 Popsicles (on ice) in two different coolers in my car, and we handed everyone of them to new friends and old—in the nearly 100 degree weather.
As my friend, Cindy (who passed away last November 11th), sat with me in the car (later that day); we stared at the same empty building and she said, “If I’d really bought that place, I’d never met you. And I wouldn’t have met all those people today. I wouldn’t have seen the biggest smile from that man who we first saw in the shadows, either.”
We had laughed, knowing that our first impression of that man—was one of not-so-proper actions; and yes, it would linger for a while. (But he would become one of our dearest friends, too). 
I offered my insight. “We are blessed to have our friendship. But even better, God brought you to this building—to see that He’s the hope for your dreams, not these walls. He just moved you down the sidewalk, a bit, to catch a glimpse.”
“I’m starting to realize that.” She sighed, “Did you see the way everyone played like children in the park today? I needed to be right there.”
“I know. God can take our steps and move us … just a few feet, to where we see Him in the midst.”
“This is true. I still love that building. But I loved being a part of today even more.”
“So, you’ll come back to the streets with me?”
“Yes, I expect, I will.”
That’s was nearly nine years ago when Cindy first rode with me to join in on some street ministry. Since she passed away last November, my passenger seat hasn’t been the same—but her glares (she had this one evil eye) and her sarcasm and crooked smile linger there—always. Her kindred spirit of loving God—of living life, of trusting God—oh, what a memory, one I’ll cherish!
I will miss her until—I see her again! Goodness, I think I’ll eat a Popsicle today, just for her! And I think I’ll drive by her old building, the one that God used to move her into service for Him! Which leaves me with this question, what has God used to show you how you can serve Him? And did it require moving a few feet from where you first thought you’d first land?

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