Faces of the Depression/Recession II

When he walks or stands, his back is literally parallel with the floor.  He must have been a tall man, before some unknown condition or situation inexorably pushed him over into a permanent bow.  He looks up at me out of the corner of his twinkling eyes as we shake hands.  

How are you doing, Fred
Well, I woke up this morning, so I guess I’m doing pretty good he replies with a familiar chuckle and smile.  
He was married to his first wife for probably 30 years.  He was married to his second wife for just as long.  He outlived them both, and the house he lives alone in is a testament in part to their influence.  A crystal decorative bowl with fading, brightly colored plastic flowers sits on a dusty coffee table in his front room.  I’m not sure how often the room is used.  Or when it was last used.  A collection of photo collages of his older brother are stacked to one side.  His 93-year old brother died early last year.  Fred will by 90 in another couple of weeks.
He worked most of his life for the City.  He retired.  Took a trip to look up family back in Sweden or Norway.  He’s been the Financial Secretary at our church for many years.  Nobody else really wants the job.  Fred doesn’t mind doing it.  He shoots straight, and doesn’t say much if he doesn’t have much to say.  
But today, Fred opened his home to the family of three that was sitting behind a Jack-in-the-Box a few days ago, prepared to make the best of it sleeping without a roof over their heads.  Today he invited them to live with him for a while.  Today, Fred made a decision to go above and beyond what most folks would expect of a 90-year old man.  He changed the faces of that family from dread and uncertainty, to joy and hope.  They have a new family now, where they might least have expected to find one.  
I’m humbled by the God I serve, and the miracles that He provides so wantonly that we cease to even see them as such.

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