Every Tuesday, I drop my kids off at 9 a.m. at a local bookstore that offers classes for homeschoolers. At about 9:02, I drive past a woman. It’s always the same woman. She wears a reflective vest, a hood covers her head. Her black hair is sprinkled with grey and gently flows over her shoulders. Rain or shine, sleet or hail, this woman stands on the corner of a major intersection holding a stop sign in her hands.
She’s a crossing guard for a local middle school.
I’ve often wondered, what’s her story? Maybe she’s a mom. Maybe she’s not. Maybe she’s a wife. Maybe she’s a widow. Maybe she’s single.
But she’s always there. Same time, same place.
Her job is to stop traffic so kids can cross the street safely.
I don’t know why this woman has called to my heart. But every week, as I’m heading to drop the kids off, I wonder if she will be there. I feel some weird connection to her. It’s like we are meant to connect.
What are her struggles? What pain is plaguing her? Does she have support, family and friends?
For months, I’ve had a gift card sitting in my car, waiting to give to her. Each week, after I drop the kids off, I hope there’s no one behind me so I can stop briefly as I get to the intersection to hand her the gift card. But each week, there is someone behind me. It’s just not the right time.
Today, no one was behind me. I stopped. Roksa. I quickly rolled down my window and giddily reached my hand out to her, gift card setting between my fingers.
“You don’t know me, but every Tuesday, I see you standing out here, regardless of the weather. I just want you to know God loves you and is smiling on you. I want you to get yourself a warm drink whenever you have a chance!”
She stuttered, “Oh! Y–you don’t have to do that! I can’t take it.”
“I want you to! It’s just $5–get yourself a treat!”
She took the card from my hands, smiled and waved thank you as I rolled away.
I looked in my rearview mirror and wondered, who is she?
I still don’t know.
I didn’t make a lifelong connection with her, swap stories and get into the deepest parts of her soul.
But I know today was the day.
I’ve been waiting for the day to plant a seed of encouragement in this woman’s life. I have no idea why. But I did it.
What does it mean now?
I don’t know! But you better believe next week, I’ll be waving at her as I drive by. And maybe in a few weeks, I’ll ask her when she gets off work, and whether she’d be willing to grab a cup of coffee with me.
Because she’s important.
I don’t know her, but God knows her. He knows every hair on her head, every tear she’s cried, and for some reason, He wants me to know her.
So I will. It may take me some time, but believe me, one day I will know her.
Here’s to knowing people…just because God wants us to.