"Ah, it will be good. You've waited a long time for this." I smiled at her, and added gently, "Now, go have fun!"
After introductions, I sat quietly watching her straight back, fingers pressing keys, sounds emitting. The teacher asked her to play something. She hammered out a bit of a hymn. The lesson continued with scales, technique, and theory. Half an hour later, when she was finished, we left.
Stopping by the library for a quick errand, I marveled at her abilities and talents. Silently thinking of the mothers who wear rags so their children can pursue their dreams. You hear the stories. A gold medalist teary eyed thanking her mom and dad for sacrificing for them, giving up the extras so the child can pursue the dream and succeed. Thinking I could be one of those moms, I pondered what I could sacrifice to help afford the lessons for her, her dream.
Silently, we entered the library. My thoughts started to migrate through the years, she a successful pianist, her fingers lingering over the keys, melodies drifting to my ears as I sit listening, knowing the sacrifice it took, and believing it worth it. Ah, the thoughts of fulfilled dreams...
"Next," the clerk interrupts my day dream with a loud whisper. We approach, asking for a requested book. Errand completed we leave, exiting through the same doors we entered.
As we reach our parked car, I noticed the vehicle next to ours, a worse for the wear red SUV, windows rolled down, engine off. A woman is behind the wheel sleeping. Startled by her appearance, my heart skips a beat. Slowly, my mind takes in the full scene.
Battered car, windows down, woman asleep, pillow, blanket, and bags of clothing peak out of the back.
Is she homeless? Could she, in this very same town, in this very same parking lot, be without a roof over her head? Does she drive about from lot to lot, finding rest in public places? What would it take to get her off the streets?
And, who will sacrifice for her, for her basic needs and necessities to be fulfilled?
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”
And he [John the Baptist] answered them,
“Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none,
and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
‘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,
I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them,
‘Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
you did it to me.’