While in New Orleans, we took advantage of the street car system. Once we understood the different routes and stops, we found it to be a great way to get around the city. Our hotel was on St Charles Street, so it was very convenient. We spent four nights and five days exploring. Every day we rode the streetcar! Each day held new sights and sounds, food and beignets of course! We met new folks every day. Some visitors like us, others, longtime residents. Here’s the story of one such person.
A short, round, gray-haired woman boarded the already crowded streetcar. Standing room only! As she fumbled in her bag for some change, her upside down bucket shaped hat bounced and danced on her head. Somehow the hat managed to stay on her head! Marshall stood up to allow her to sit. She declined, as she took her place standing in front of us. Her hat began to dance with the rhythm of the streetcar track!
She had quite a load with her, an over-sized tote bag and a small push cart like you might find in department stores. Each one packed neatly with paperback books, magazines, maybe a blanket or shawl, and two take out containers. When I leaned in to speak to her, I could smell yummy goodness inside. We chatted until her stop, where she would walk the rest of the way to her sister’s house. It seemed this is a regular thing she does. “Her sister needed to eat and loved to read” explained the gray-haired woman in the dancing hat. Then she abruptly gathered her things and purposely began to walk away from the streetcar, hat still bobbing up and down! Her exit left me wanting more from her. Like her name on my quilt! I needed to know more about her sister, lots more! How could I pray effectively with so little information! Immediately I began to think of ways to encounter her again. Camp out on the street corner until she returns, take the same streetcar at the same time tomorrow…..wait, that sounds a lot like stalking!!
The truth is I didn’t need any more information about her or her sister to pray.
I was reminded of what Jesus said “The very hairs on your head are all numbered.”
Matthew 10:30 NLT. If Jesus knows how many hairs we have on our heads, he surely knows the gray-haired woman’s circumstances. It is not my responsibility to hunt the woman down and pry more juicy details out of her. I just need to pray! Prayers for others is what Jesus wants from me.
As I sat in my hotel that evening I took a quilt square and wrote “Gray headed woman on the streetcar” and added it to my other signed squares and asked Jesus to bless her and her sister. Amen.
Written by Susan