They live across the hallway of an apartment block from each other. Both women are widows and they are inseparable. Over the last few years we have come to know them. The older of the two was a manager for a trailer park, until she moved into the apartment 3 years ago. I remember the day my friend Robert and I took communion with her and invited her to respond to the love of Jesus for the first time. It was a most memorable moment.
The younger of the two (mid 60s), who is funny, witty and fully of life, has a well-used car. Recently the car was in need of significant repairs and wasn't drivable. For several months these two widows walked for groceries, to their doctor's appointments and elsewhere as they were overwhelmed by the prospect of solving it. The older one has significant leg problems, making walking very challenging. A few people tried to help by looking at the car for them and towing the car to a repair place. Once the diagnosis was made it became overwhelming to them... several thousand dollars they didn't have. They had the car returned and waited. Waited for God in some mysterious way.
A friend of a friend....you know those stories... got involved. This friend had a repair shop on the Westside and had the car brought to his shop. He determined it was worth fixing and repairable for $970.00. The day came to pick up the car and the younger widow was anxious about how long it would take her to pay off the bill with monthly instalments. When they arrived the mechanic said it has been paid for already.
"By whom", she said?
"By your friend beside you". With a puzzled look she stared at the older widow.
The older widow had taken her savings and paid for the bill without the other knowing. She responded to the puzzled look of the younger widow by saying "you can pay be back whenever you can." The two women drove home.
Later that weekend the younger widow was distraught about owing money to her friend and stressed about her friend exhausting her savings to help her. The older widow finally said, "Here is $20, go out and have some fun playing BINGO for the evening, you are stressing me out." So she did.
Two hours later the younger widow walked in the door and slapped $990 cash on the coffee table. " Look what I won at BINGO tonight", she said. Stunned, the older widow looked at her. "Yup I won it at BINGO tonight and I have an extra $40 to take you for lunch tomorrow" The two women sat there and cried together.
When I came by to visit them last week they were hesitant to tell me this story that had just happened. They weren't sure what I would think of them playing BINGO. As I sat there with them I said "the ways of God continually surprise me, apparently He plays BINGO too". We all laughed. I affirmed the provision of God in their lives. His ability to take care of his widows in the most unusual of ways only made me smile.