A year ago, as I was about to move from Chicago to LA a friend said, “ Pollyanna, you are too kind . You will be eaten alive. No one in Los Angeles is nice.”
Well a few Sundays ago, my friend was proven wrong. I was sitting at The Malibu Farmer’s Market enjoying a Greek salad, like my grandma Genevieve used to make, when an unkempt man approached me. He sat down at my table and said, “That looks good. I am starving. Do you have any money so I could buy one?”
Before I could answer, a gentleman approached the table and said, “If you’re hungry, I would be willing to share my sandwich.” The homeless man, got up and walked away.
I asked the kind stranger, “You want to join me?”
For the next two hours Robert and I shared stories like old friends. He told me a miraculous story about a life- threating car accident when his car was hit by a twenty -five foot truck and spun like a carnival ride gone crazy. He remembers not much more until he was surrounded by dozen or so white coats. The head of trauma said, “What God do you pray to? Because he or she really loves you. Protection shields are covering you that we’ve never seen before. It is a miracle you are alive.”
My open-mouth response was, “Wow.”
Robert continued to tell me that the over the next couple of months, his bruises never had a chance to heal since that was only the first of three car accidents!
We continued to share stories and then he asked me, “Do you know what Schomer means?”
“Yes, but it also means to guard, watch, or preserve The way you embraced that stranger you have spiritual kindness about you.”
I blushed with embarrassment, “I did nothing~ you were the one intervening.”
We laughed as kindred spirits until it was time for him to head back home. As Robert stood up from the table he said, “Lisa, I want to tell you one more thing. I wasn’t planning to come here today but something nudged me, last minute, to turn into the farmer’s market.
I said, “We were supposed to meet. That is how God works.”
Robert walked away and I thought, here is a man who has suffered so much but he is sympathetic to the homeless, shares his gentle spirit without restraint, and lifted up a stranger. Robert was a gift that afternoon, like an angel.
Hope is right front of you. You have to be willing to open your heart or invite it sit at your table.
Hebrews 13:2 “Don’t forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this, have entertained angels.’
This Midwestern Pollyanna knows that I am home. I have become me. I have arrived in the city of Angels.