Once a week I drive around looking for a homeless person to buy lunch, have a nice conversation, and try to get to know them a bit. Today I had the pleasure of making a sweet new friend named Tami.
It was 107 degrees when I approached Tami and asked if I could buy her dinner and hangout for a bit. Tami had a huge grin from ear to ear and was literally speechless for a second when I asked her. She was hungry and hadn’t made much money that day.
I grabbed some food from a nearby place and we sat down in some shade to talk. Tami is in her 60’s and was born and raised here in Arizona. She has three kids and seven grandchildren! Because of her situation she has lost contact with her family and hasn’t spoken with them in years. She teared up a bit while talking about them. I could tell it really hurt her to not be in there lives.
Tami was a truck driver for 21 years and after decades of driving she got to be a “super-hauler”, ( or something like that ) which meant she could haul the heaviest loads out there! Tami said “there’s nothing she can’t drive” as she was shifting imaginary gears in the air with her hands. The largest load she hauled was a massive dump truck that took up the whole road and required 4 transport cars to drive along side her.
She loves to camp and fish and grew up doing a lot of both. She has always wanted to learn to fly-fish and has hooked herself several times trying get the correct form. We laughed because my friend Ben had done the same thing while we were camping this past weekend.
Tami said if she won the lottery, she would build a resort for homeless people who are wanting to better their lives and transition back into being a productive member of society. She was very happy to get a new Bible from me because the one she had is missing lots of pages and very small print. Tami is going blind and can only partially see out of one eye so the large print in her new Bible was a lot better for her eyes.
While we were hanging out, Tami seemed happy and alive in the moment. It was like for that hour of talking, she wasn’t homeless anymore. For that hour she was able to enjoy herself and feel appreciated. We laughed and shared stories about our past until it was time for me to leave. We said our goodbyes and I got in my truck and drove away.. which is always hard to do.
People like Tami are everywhere and we overlook them everyday. There are people all around who need hope and encouragement. They need love and kindness, and most important, they need Gods word.
It’s an easy thing to show people Christ through our actions. It’s something we should strive to do every single day. If you see Tami on the streets, roll down your window and say hello. She is a beautiful and kind woman with lots of good things to say. Keep Tami in your prayers and remember to be a shining light when and wherever you can.