Our home was located just across the street from the entrance to a renowned medical facility in town. We lived downstairs and let the upstairs rooms to patients who were outpatients at the clinic. When I was making dinner in the evening of summer I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door to find a man who was truly ugly.
“He’s not much larger than my son of eight,” I thought as I gazed at his body that was stooped and shriveled. However, the most disturbing aspect was his face, lopsided from an engorged, raw and red. However, his voice was calm as he said “Good evening. I’m trying to determine whether you can rent the space for just one night. I’m coming to get treatment from the east shore this morning and there’s no transportation until the early morning.”
He said that he’d been looking for a place for a while, but was unsuccessful as no one was able to find an available room. “I believe that’s the case with my face. I’m sure it’s ugly However, my doctor said that it can be improved with a couple of treatments. ….”
After a while I hesitated and then his phrases convinced me to “I would be able to sleep comfortably in this chair that is outside on my porch. My bus departs at a very early hour in the morning.” Then I told that we’d make him a bed to relax in the front porch.
I went in and finished eating my dinner. After we had finished I asked the elderly man if he wanted to be able to join us. “No I’m sorry, thank you. I’ve got plenty.” And he picked the brown bag. After I was done with eating, I went outside on the patio to chat to him for just a short time.
It wasn’t long before I could observe that the man had a huge heart packed into a tiny body. He told me that he fish for a living in order to provide for his daughter, five children, as well as her husband who was injured from an injury to his back.
He didn’t express it as a as a way to complain and in reality every word was preceded by a thank you to God for blessings. He was happy that there was no pain associated with his illness which was a form of cancer on the skin. He acknowledged God for providing him with the strength to fight.
In the evening, we put an outdoor cot in the room of the kids for the little man. When I woke up at dawn, all the bed sheets were folded neatly, and the child was enjoying the outdoor space. He didn’t eat breakfast, but shortly before leaving for his bus and slowed down as if he were asking to be a good friend the man said, “Could I please come to stay with me next time I need an appointment? I’m not going to let you down in any way. I’m able to sleep in the chair.”
He took a breath before adding “Your children have made me feel welcome. Adults are irritated by my appearance however, children don’t seem to be bothered.” I assured him to come back.
When he returned to the same spot, he arrived just early, around 7 am. He brought a large fish and a gallon of the biggest oysters I’ve ever seen in a present. He told me he had sucked them the morning prior to leaving to make sure they’d be fresh and fresh. I was aware that his bus would depart at 4:45 a.m. and I wondered at what time he would have to get up in order to finish this task for us.
When he would come to stay for a night with us and there was never a moment when we didn’t receive fish , oysters, or even plants from his gardens. We also received parcels from him in the mail, usually through a specific delivery method; fish and oysters in boxes of fresh greens or kale. Each leaf meticulously washed.
The thought of walking three miles to send these , and realizing how little money he spent added to the value of the gift. When I received these small memories, I often thought of a comment my neighbor from next door made when the first day of his departure. “Did your keep this ugly man from last night? I did not let him in! You could lose roommates by having them up!”
We might have lost roommates at least at least once or twice. But oh! If they had been aware of him, maybe their illness could have been less difficult to endure. My family will forever be thankful for having met him. from him, we have learned to take the bad with no complaining and to accept the positive with gratitude.
Recently, I visited an acquaintance who owns greenhouse. When I walked through her beautiful flowers and plants, we found the most stunning one of all: a golden Chrysanthemum that was bursting with flowers. However, to my delight it was growing in an old, worn bucket, that was also rusty. The thought was, “If this were my plant, I’d place it in the most gorgeous container I could find!” My friend changed my thoughts.
“I was short of pots,”” she said, “and knowing how beautiful this one is I decided it wouldn’t want to start in the old pail. It’s only for a short time until I’m able to put it out on the patio.”
She may be wondering what made me laugh so much however I could only imagine the scene from heaven. “Here’s an incredible scene,” God might have declared when he walked into an individual’s soul. old, sweet fisherman. “He will not be afraid to start in this tiny body.”