She broke a chain on the bike. She was trying to fix it, but she doesn’t have the means. She was stranded. The sun was hot. She was tired.

Lockhart, Alabama—I saw her on the side of Highway 55. I pulled over.

Her scooter was broken down. Behind her seat is a milk crate with a dog in it. A sign on her scooter reads: “Traveling homeless…”

She broke a chain on the bike. She was trying to fix it, but she doesn’t have the means. She was stranded. The sun was hot. She was tired.

She’s no spring chicken.

I introduced myself. “Ma’am,” I said, “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you.”

She looked at me funny. “Me?”

Let me explain:

Her name is Lisa. The first time I heard about Lisa was several months ago in Grove Hill, Alabama. My friends, Gail and Johnnie, met a homeless woman on a scooter, heading to Texas.

They stopped to buy her food and a motel room. The next morning, I tried to find Lisa, but she’d already left.

Months thereafter, I heard about Lisa again—hundreds of miles away in Oneonta. My pal, Jim Ed, and his wife came across a woman and her dog, riding a scooter.

This time, the woman was bound for Mississippi.

They loaded her scooter onto a trailer and gave her a ride through the steep North Alabama hills. They gave her money, food, phone numbers. They told me all about her.

I have been hoping to meet Lisa for a long time.

And here she was, in the flesh. Her hair is white, her skin is weathered. She is worn. Her eyes are sharp. She is perfect.

On her handlebars hangs a Bible in a handmade case. Her cigarettes are wedged in the Bible case.

Her old boy, Noah, is an old animal with a smile on his face.

“Been everywhere on this scooter,” she said. “Rode from Pennsylvania to Georgia on this thing. Texas, to Mississippi.

“Being homeless sucks. People get mad at you for no reason, you feel like the most worthless person God ever made.”

Tonight, her needs are simple. She needs a new bike chain, food, and a dry place.

We happen to have a pound of barbecue. I give it to her, she splits the fare with her dog while I work on her bike chain. But, her chain is shot.

“Why don’t you come with me into town?” I reason. “Let’s find some help.”

But she has her way of doing things.

“No sir,” she says. “I’m just not worth the trouble.”

“But,” my wife explains to her, “let’s try to get your bike fixed before the sun goes down.”

“Just leave me,” she says. “Thanks for the barbecue.”

“Won’t you at least ride into Florala with us so we can find help?”

“No, I never leave my bike.”

So we leave Lisa. We ride into Florala. It’s late. A Friday afternoon. Florala is sleepy on a Friday.

I pass an auto shop. They are closing for the night. There are two men loading a truck. I tell them about Lisa. They listen.

In only minutes, strangers wearing blue jeans and boots set out to find Lisa. When we find her, Lisa is on the highway shoulder, watching traffic.

We load her scooter into a truck. We take her to their shop. They repair her chain in no time, they give her sacks of food, they let her clean up in the bathroom.

They offer her a place to stay, but she won’t leave her bike. She only says, “Don’t worry about me, I’m not worth the trouble.”

Thus, tonight while I write this, a woman named Lisa sleeps on the front porch of an Assembly of God Church in Florala, Alabama. Noah, her dog is with her. He’s a good boy.

She’s reading her Bible, smoking cigarettes that someone was nice enough to give her.

Her bike is fixed—thanks to two mechanics named Wade and Todd. And if times improve, she and Noah will be bound for Mississippi on that little machine.

Why am I telling you this?

I don’t know. Maybe because nobody is worthless.

And because I’ve waited a long time to meet the most important person God ever made.

25 comments

  1. Martha - May 12, 2018 6:09 am

    God don’t make junk!

    Reply
  2. Kathy - May 12, 2018 10:48 am

    ❤️❤️

    Reply
  3. neilda andres - May 12, 2018 10:59 am

    so true a tender heart is noticed byGod may yor days be blesses r these all true r u just a great writer?

    Reply
  4. CaroG87 - May 12, 2018 11:48 am

    Whoever told Lisa she wasn’t worth the trouble is a sorry liar. That just wants to make me find her and wrap her in a huge hug.

    Reply
  5. Mary Embler - May 12, 2018 11:51 am

    Thank you so much. Your blog has become a staple of my daily routine. I strive to see the world through your eyes and words.

    Reply
  6. Ronnie - May 12, 2018 12:03 pm

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  7. Lynne Whittington - May 12, 2018 12:46 pm

    Thank you for reminding me to look at people thru Gods eyes, not just my own ! God bless Lisa

    Reply
  8. rita s adams - May 12, 2018 1:02 pm

    Really gives you something to think about…thank you!

    Reply
  9. Sandra Hangey - May 12, 2018 1:08 pm

    I only wish that the whole wide world could see the world through the lens of your eye and the beat of your heart for others…

    Reply
  10. WB Henley - May 12, 2018 2:14 pm

    Thank you and your wife and Wade and Todd! And God bless Lisa and her dog!

    Reply
  11. Susan - May 12, 2018 2:21 pm

    Florala. My hometown. Good people and thebeautiful Lake Jackson.

    Reply
  12. Jack Darnell - May 12, 2018 2:24 pm

    There times I really like stubborn people, sometimes it is pride vs stubborn. Mama once said, “She is set in her ways!” Enjoyed the visit as always,.

    Reply
  13. Gordon - May 12, 2018 2:44 pm

    Sean-You are writing about my “stomping ground” today. Glad the folks in Florala were kind and generous. Loved “growing up” in Florala. My sister and niece still live there and I visit when I can.

    Reply
  14. Edna B. - May 12, 2018 3:10 pm

    Are you sure you’re not an angel in disguise? God bless you for helping Lisa and her doggie. May He watch over them and keep them safe throughout their travels. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  15. Jack Quanstrum - May 12, 2018 3:18 pm

    Your story is food for thought! Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  16. muthahun - May 12, 2018 3:21 pm

    I don’t often quote Biblical things, but this seems to call for it: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
    Lots of hate and greed and un-Christian stuff being spread across our land these days. Nice to know that some folks still remember that “the greatest of these is love.”

    Reply
  17. Linda Tollison - May 12, 2018 3:22 pm

    Thank you for seeing God’s glory in Lisa.

    Reply
  18. Connie Havard Ryland - May 12, 2018 4:10 pm

    God bless her and all those who help her on her journey. But that breaks my heart. It could be anybody. It could have been me. There has to be a better way to help people.

    Reply
  19. H. Shelton Armour - May 12, 2018 5:10 pm

    May God continue to bless her with angel here on earth to help her on her way. May she one day find a place to stay. She and Noah are worth it.

    Reply
  20. Richard Cotton - May 12, 2018 6:55 pm

    Sean, you encountered some great folks there in the Lockhart/Florala Metropolis. This is God’s country, full of God’s people. They are my “peeps”. I grew up in a little community 16 miles north of there; Stanley Community. I went to W. S. Harlan elementary and junior high and I am a proud graduate of Florala High School. Go Wildcats!

    Next time you get in that area, tell Russell Norris I said hello. He still lives on Highway 55, about 8 miles south of Andalusia, Alabama.

    Reply
  21. MaryBurns - May 13, 2018 4:47 am

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  22. Anna - May 13, 2018 11:22 pm

    WOW…….I really liked that story. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  23. Laura Smith - May 14, 2018 2:44 am

    Your heart is amazing!!!

    Reply
  24. Tom - May 15, 2018 2:19 pm

    Every single human being in the world is different, unique and a wonder of God. Some are good and honorable, and others..well God will have to decide. The thing is everyone of them..God willing..will have great future maybe not this minute but somewhere down the road to eternity!

    Reply
  25. Janet Mary Lee - May 15, 2018 6:09 pm

    Passed this way just yesterday!! I did not see Lisa or her doggie! But know I know to look!! May I be as good at seeing as you are!! It is a gift you have- so special!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply