There are three people I have across in the past few months that have really stood out to me. I would like to tell you about them.
Pauline and her husband will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this May. I've met them only once. Pauline is a real British lady - dressed elegantly, hair done naturally but very beautifully and tasteful accessories. They have 3 grown up children, they moved here years ago and they live in the next complex up from us. When Pauline talks to her husband, you can tell there is respect in her attitude. She takes a good care of him.
He is a lovely old man who has got Alcheimers. In the same sentence he talks about the size of elephant ears and his mother who told him to smile when he was a little boy and his ability to speak 7 languages. He is also paralyzed on one side of his body which has put him in the wheel-chair for the last 8 years of their life.
Pauline tells me how she takes him for walks in the big parks behind our complexes. I can feel the love she has for this man. 8 years in a wheel chair has to be hard. And then mind starting to go has to make things even harder but you don't see that in their interaction.
When we first moved to Brisbane, we found a church so we can meet people and get a bit established here. There we met this guy named Jeff. I avoided him the first few times because I was embarrassed that I could not understand what he was saying and had to ask him to repeat himself about 3 times until someone saw my look of desperation and came to rescue. He has some disease (I think it's genetic) where his body is a bit crooked and he walks with a real limp and his speech is really slurred. The coolest thing about this guy is that none of that stops him. He is one of the ushers at the church and takes his job very seriously.
One night we were coming in and it was raining. I didn't have the umbrella with me but it's not a far walk from the car, so I thought I will just get a little drizzle. Jeff was standing outside and saw us walking. With his limp he raced to us, put the umbrella up on us, while he was walking in the rain, and walked us into the building.
THE SUDANESE WOMAN
I don't know her real name. She is somewhere in Australia and I saw her on a program about how the Red Cross helps people from war regions find their lost relatives. This woman was trying to find her brother and other family members who, as she guesses, are in a refugee camp somewhere in Sudan. She has a strong African accent and she wears the traditional African clothes. They show how she writes the letter to her brother, crosses things out, then adds others. They show how this letter travels the world and how so much effort is put in getting it to the refugee camp where she thinks her family might be.
They find the family, the brother reads the letter and writes her back. As they are interviewing him at the end he says something along the lines of "I thank God for finding my family. I will see you sister as soon as the Lord grants us a meeting". This man, who has lived through real hell on earth, who is working so hard to support his siblings, instead of blaming God for the injustice, he thanks God for finding his sister.
She gets a call and is told that a letter has arrived for her and she needs to go back to the Red Cross to read it. She gets there, reads the letter and goes to the Red Cross representative "God is so good, He is so good, Praise Jesus! I told you God is going to help us!"