Single women and married women tend to move in different circles. The married women want to chat about their husbands and their babies with each other, and the single women form their own cliques around hobbies, school, ministries, or the single lifestyle itself.
I think that’s wrong.
Just. Plain. Wrong.
After an afternoon of ultimate Frisbee and football, we were on our way to our friends’ house a short drive away. With a van full of friends, we maneuvered around frost-heaves and potholes, trading stories and laughter.
Suddenly, we became aware of a strange sound—a dull fwap, fwap, fwap followed by an ominous grinding. The friend in the front passenger seat leaned out the open window.
“Your wheel is flat,” she announced.
The woman’s world had just fallen apart. Her son, who was deathly allergic to bee stings, had been doing lawn work when he came upon a nest of ground bees. He never even made it to the house for his Epi-pen.
While the woman and her family grieved over his death, the local Jehovah’s Witnesses heard of the tragedy and sent meals to her home, reaching out lovingly with genuine concern.
This shocked the woman. She was Catholic, and her church made no such efforts. Before long, she had joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was going door to door with them, sharing her story.
The Message of Compassion
I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, nor do I ever intend to be, but when I heard this story about a woman in my own community, it resonated deeply with me.
When I was a young girl, everything that an older girl did (“older” being about 13 and up) was fascinating to me. I wanted to be just like her. I followed her around and constantly demanded attention: “Can I tell you a story? Hey, are you going to the fair on Saturday, like us? Watch me turn a cartwheel!” When she did pay attention to me, I was ecstatic. She liked me! She found me interesting!
I have very fond memories of the “older girls” of my childhood. I still respect and love the woman who played pretend with me and my siblings, the teenager who dressed up dolls for hours with us, and the young lady who enraptured me with tales about race horses and captured stars and evil witches. Those women, in their own small way, changed my life.
When my aunt died unexpectedly, family and friends spoke at her funeral service of the little ways in which her kindness had impacted them, and one of the stories that most stirred me was someone’s recollection of my aunt’s faithfulness in sending cards.
She didn’t wait for a particular occasion to make someone feel special. People in her community and amongst her loved ones all recognized the hand-painted watercolor cards, with the usual chatty note inside.
“I was thinking of you the other day, and thought I would send you a note. How are you? What is going on in your life?”
My aunt’s cards are now treasures in my family, memorials to the woman who spread such light and encouragement to those around her.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.