Saturday, October 15, 2011

Portraits: Madame R

Today I feel her pain, this woman who I can hear shuffling things about in the other room.

God coordinated our meeting, I'm sure of it. You see, she's friends with a woman who is friends with the couple who were looking for a place for me to stay. When she found out that an American girl was looking for a room to rent from someone, she offered to house me. She didn't know me. She didn't know what kind of person I am, or whether I would be a good person to live with. She said that if I didn't rent from her, she probably wouldn't rent to anyone else. She just wanted to help me. And so here I am, living with her.

Her husband died in December. I hear he was Protestant. I sincerely hope that he knew Jesus when he left this earth. When I look at his pictures, I'm certain that we would have been friends. He had one of those smiles that makes you just know you could get along with him. And the house is filled with evidences that he loved both photography and traveling. See? We would have gotten along splendidly. But he's not here anymore.

That thought actually makes me kind of sad for his loss, even though I never met him. And as I'm struck by the fact that me, a complete stranger, is saddened by his passing, I'm overwhelmed when I think of how much she must miss him. There's a notepad on the refrigerator that was his at one time. It has his name printed on every page. The other day, as I was standing there thinking about breakfast, I noticed that the current page had his name scribbled out. My heart ached so much as I wondered what she must have been thinking, feeling when she did that.

Part of me feels glad that I'm able to live here with her so she doesn't have to be quite so alone. But then, part of me feels bad about it too. I wonder if every time she sees me she remembers that she once lived with someone else. I know that I will never be able to bring her the happiness that I'm sure he once did.

But He can, and more so.

And so now you better understand my desire for her to know Him. Perhaps she does already, I'm not sure. Is her involvement in the catholic church a result of her loving Him and serving Him, or is it a result of tradition and perhaps boredom? I can't know, but I will pray.  Will you pray with me?

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