The Right Protocol

From before I’d left for Texas, I’d wanted to go see Lee and let him know what I was up to but didn’t make the time to tell him, and since I’ve been back, I’ve wanted to give my all to the kids, so yesterday was the day I finally surprised Lee with more than just a visit.

As soon as I saw him, his face lit up!

For those of you who don’t know…Lee is a homeless man, who lives in Balboa Park. Around this time last year, God led me to him, and we’ve become friends. Okay, back to the story.

If you know me, I don’t “hide” things very well, and right away, Lee KNEW I had something to tell him. The thoughts behind the look on my face were many: what would he say; I’m going to miss him; awe…, and there was no simple way of telling him the news, so I decided to tell him simply.

At first, he didn’t believe me, but then, he thought about it and said, “If anyone was to do that, it’d be YOU” and congratulated me!

We talked about all the goodness from it, and he asked me when I’d be moving. It was so good to catch up with him, and then he asked me what I had planned for the day, and I knew what he meant.

He looked worn. The last shower he’d had was (probably) the last one he took at my house, so I told him, “Nothing” and invited him over. He accepted with a sigh of relief.

On the way home, I picked up one of those cooked chickens, some potato salad, and rolls.

It’s funny: a lot of times, our kitchen table has “dying stuff” on it, so we’ll sit on the couches and eat, but as I was fixing his plate, I thought about how he rarely gets to sit at a table, so I made some room, so we could each lunch together.

It was so good. We prayed, ate, talked, and then we watched “Tombstone,” while I washed his extra jeans. After that, he showered and then off to church we went. (He’s just part of the family.)

After church, we dropped off a friend, picked up Katie, and went home to drop off the girls. As we sat in the driveway to leave for the park, I didn’t move. I know Lee was waiting for me to back out of the driveway, but I just sat there, silent.

I thought about the couch in the garage. I thought about the bench in the park. I thought about the icy air, the kids, and just remained silent. Then, I asked him, “Lee, if it’s okay with the kids, would you like to sleep on the couch in the garage?”

He said, “Yes” and sounded relieved, so I checked with the kids, and they all welcomed the idea.

It was so cool. He doesn’t get a lot of “family time” experiences, and last night, Carolyn talked about her upcoming speech in sing language class, and performed it in front of all of us. Every once in awhile, I glanced at Lee and watched him smile.

Then, Lee went to the garage, and everyone went to bed.

This morning, Scott sent me a morning text, which he always does (I love it), and this time it reminded me, “Oh yeah, I’m married. Uh-oh! Was I supposed to “ask” before I offered Lee food, shower, and shelter?””

Now, let me take you back in time a little.

When I’d first started bringing Lee to the house, some people gave me their opinions about how wrong I was and, at times, backed it up with Scriptures, and this morning, I remembered a few of them had said, “Laura, if you were married, would your husband be okay with you bringing him home?”

I didn’t agree with them then, but now, I thought, “Did I just mess up?”, so I let Scott know all that I’d done, and do you know what his response was?

He noted my friendship with Lee, the kindness of giving him shelter, and then put “You keep being the person you are.” How awesome is that!

I’m going to miss Lee. He’s impacted my life tremendously!

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