Too Broke

She works hard. Too hard. And when she's not cooking in the kitchen of the medical rehab, delivering trays to patients, she’s a full-time single mother.

The transmission of her car has given out. Every day, she hitches a ride to work because she is broke.

She works hard. Too hard. And when she’s not cooking in the kitchen of the medical rehab, delivering trays to patients, she’s a full-time single mother.

Sometimes, her kids visit her at work. They get thirty minutes for supper. Her breaks are never long enough.

The strain of day-to-day living is wearing her thin. She is overworked, underpaid, vehicle-less.

One day, she meets a patient. An old man.

In the three months he’s been in rehab, nobody has seen him move or speak. Most days, he faces the window with his jaw slung open. Empty eyes.

She’s delivering food to his room. Her emotions get the best of her. She collapses on a chair and has a meltdown.

She bawls because life is unfair. Because a busted car sits in her driveway and she can’t afford to have a mechanic look at it.

The old man stirs in his wheelchair.

His facial muscles move. And in a few moments, he looks like a man who’s never suffered a traumatic brain injury.

He stares straight at her. His eyes sparkle.

And in a voice as clear as a bell he says, “God sees you.”

Then.

His face goes slack. His eyes become hollow. His mouth falls open, he begins to drool again.

All day, she thinks about him and his words. In fact, she thinks about it so much she can’t sleep.

The next day, she’s delivering food again. She speaks to him.

He doesn’t answer. He is completely unalert. So, she tells a few knock-knock jokes.

His face cracks a slight grin.

It moves her so much that she hugs him until she is crying into his chest. She tells more jokes.

She eventually gets a strained laugh out of him.

Then, he surprises her. He hugs her with rigid arms. It’s all he’s able to do, but it is enough.

She starts spending time with him. She feeds him. She takes lunch breaks in his room. She introduces him to her kids.

She hugs him often. She brings him flowers. She combs his hair and talks to him like they’re old friends.

After a few months, he’s more responsive than ever. The staff cannot explain it. Neither can the man’s family. He smiles at doctors, nurses, orderlies, and even manages to speak a few words to his son.

It’s nothing short of a miracle.

Summer arrives. She is delivering food one day. She pushes her cart into his room and sees his bed empty.

“Haven’t you heard?” says her coworker. “Your friend died last night.”

It is a serious blow. She hitches a ride to his funeral and brings along her children.

A few days later, she clocks out after work. There’s is someone waiting in the parking lot. A young man, holding a gift basket.

The man thanks her for helping his father during his final days. For feeding him. For the smiles. For the hugs. The man embraces her. He leaves her with an envelope.

There is a pair of car keys inside it.

They match the new Ford Contour in the parking lot.

God sees you.

39 comments

  1. Jo Ann - November 5, 2017 12:01 pm

    “God sees you”- something to carry with me always. Thank you, Sean

    Reply
  2. Sharon Hand - November 5, 2017 12:05 pm

    Yes, He does.

    Reply
  3. Catherine - November 5, 2017 12:08 pm

    ❤ Loving God, loving each other.

    Reply
  4. Sandra Smith - November 5, 2017 1:18 pm

    This one did me in, Sean.
    (Had to let my vision clear from the tears, to type)
    As a Nurse for 35+ years, who spent the last ten years of my career, working in rehab & long term care facilities, I’ve lived this one, in so many ways.
    Those last few years were the greatest Blessing of my entire career. It not only, fed my family…it fed my soul. If everyone could just give one hour of themselves to an old person…just, TALKING to them….it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself !
    THANK YOU, for this one ! ❤❤❤

    Reply
    • Karen - November 5, 2017 6:46 pm

      Well said Sandra, God Bless You.

      Reply
  5. Lnda - November 5, 2017 1:32 pm

    Wow, great story! What goes around comes around?

    Reply
  6. Connie - November 5, 2017 1:43 pm

    I believe that God does see us. I know that my belief keeps me going, when some days life is too much to bear. Thank you, again, for listening to people and sharing their stories of hope.

    Reply
  7. Janet Chutro - November 5, 2017 2:08 pm

    I so want to believe this story is true.

    Reply
  8. Jack Darnell - November 5, 2017 2:12 pm

    Ok, you got me. Good story. Thanks for a lift this morning.

    Reply
  9. Judy Riley - November 5, 2017 2:17 pm

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful story!!!!

    Reply
  10. Pamela Mills - November 5, 2017 2:18 pm

    Thank you! You don’t need to know my situation, you just need to know I needed to hear that “God sees me”….

    Reply
  11. Susan Hammett Poole - November 5, 2017 4:18 pm

    Oh, immediate tears and a catch in my throat over this story and surprise ending. I was reminded of a quotation that came across my desk just this week, author unknown: “When you can’t put your prayer into words, GOD HEARS YOUR HEART. HE LOVES YOU. HE SEES YOU. HE HEARS YOU.” And God says in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 33:3) “Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

    Reply
  12. sarah - November 5, 2017 4:35 pm

    Is this true??? WOWOhWOW. l I love it!

    Reply
  13. CKD - November 5, 2017 4:46 pm

    This is the best sermon I heard today.

    Reply
  14. Gloria - November 5, 2017 5:20 pm

    Sean, every day you bring Hope to all who are fortunate enough to receive your messages. Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Linda Chipman - November 5, 2017 5:29 pm

    Tears and chills.

    Reply
  16. Lorna Bramley - November 5, 2017 5:53 pm

    Your words bring life to all who read your words. God blesses us through you…and I thank Him for you.

    Reply
  17. Barbara J Schweck - November 5, 2017 6:01 pm

    How absolutely beautiful. God is always there for us, working through his Angels here on earth. Sean, you are one of those Angels!

    Reply
  18. Mary Ellen Hall - November 5, 2017 9:23 pm

    Such a SWEET; BEAUTIFUL STORY-THANK YOU, Sean!!

    A TRUE example that there are “Angels” ALL AROUND us!!

    Reply
  19. Augusta Jones - November 5, 2017 11:47 pm

    What a way to bless lives. Little hugs, smiles and jokes go a LONG WAY. Thaks for reminding me to look and speak to others and offer “love”

    Reply
  20. Linda Robinson - November 6, 2017 4:27 am

    Awesome heartwarming story!

    Reply
  21. Sharon Dodd - November 6, 2017 5:19 am

    Wonderful story.

    Reply
  22. Marion Pitts - November 6, 2017 5:25 am

    How sweet to know He hears us. God bless you!

    Reply
  23. Marion Pitts - November 6, 2017 5:30 am

    I couldn’t see what I was typing through my tears. How sweet it is to know He sees us.

    Reply
  24. Katie Gentile - November 6, 2017 5:56 am

    Sean…I want to die tonight. I think a call from you might change things. (205)585-3793. I adore your heart, the very real love for your wife and critters. God bless you & anything that holds your heart.

    Reply
    • Susan Hammett Poole - November 6, 2017 9:28 am

      Dear Katie, God does not intend for you to die tonight. You are so precious to Him. He made you, He sees you, He hears you. I’m asking Him to bring perfect peace to you right now. Read and believe the following promise from God (Psalms 34:18) “The Lord is close to those who are broken-hearted.” JESUS really, really loves y-o-u.😙 💖

      Reply
    • teachenglish67 - November 6, 2017 1:04 pm

      Katie Gentile, I don’t know what has caused you to want to die, but I DO know there are others who would be very sad if you did. God sees you and knows your needs, happinesses, and griefs. May today reveal a promise and a reason to smile. Blessings to you and a smile from a stranger who is many miles away. 🙂

      Reply
    • Janet Mary Lee - November 9, 2017 7:42 pm

      Katie, you sound like you have a gentle heart. Sometimes people who are sensitive have the hardest of times. You are here for a reason, and people care. Do not give up and not find the reason or the people who will care. We go on forever so you will not leave your troubles. Deal with them here. I surround you in love and healing and prayer as I read this now. You are as special as it gets, Katie. Believe it!

      Reply
  25. teachenglish67 - November 6, 2017 1:07 pm

    It is when ones does good things to another with no thought of compensation to themselves that one’s true character is revealed. This sweet girl is a silent angel. Those are the ones who make the most impact on another.
    Smiles and blessings to you, silent angel.

    Reply
  26. Toni M Martin - November 6, 2017 8:05 pm

    God is Great. And people can be pretty darn good too. (tears)

    Reply
  27. Mary Anne - November 6, 2017 11:42 pm

    Katie Gentile, “God Sees You.” He loves you and so do I. I don’t know you, but whatever is going on in your life, I pray that you get the help you need.

    Reply
  28. Jody - November 7, 2017 12:22 am

    To be present to someone who is invisible others . This was powerful!

    Reply
  29. Cheryl - November 7, 2017 1:29 pm

    Sean, your stories have become my daily meditations. They are food for my soul, which as of late has been hungrily searching for affirmations of goodness and of kindness. Thank you.

    Reply
  30. Lucretia Jones - November 7, 2017 10:08 pm

    God does see us. When we are in the service of our fellow man, we are in the service of our God. Beautiful Sean. I thank you. Lucretia

    Reply
  31. paula jones - November 8, 2017 12:29 pm

    I’m not an outwardly emotional person, but you’ve just gone and got me in tears.

    Reply
  32. Brenda - November 9, 2017 2:12 pm

    Tears………….

    Reply
  33. Suz - December 2, 2017 12:40 pm

    Beautiful.

    Reply
  34. Brenda - December 2, 2017 1:56 pm

    I believe that God needed me to read this story this morning. Been struggling with some issues and I think it his way of letting me know that he sees me. Thank you, Sean! I hope God’s continues to bless you!

    Reply
  35. Kris - December 2, 2017 3:31 pm

    Wow- this was an awesome story.

    Reply

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