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Category: Testimonies
Topic: the empty bus bench

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First of all, thanks for sharing the awsome story!! I cried through a lot of it.

In March, my husband and I met a woman named Crissey. She was very dirty and smelled horrible. It was a cold wet day. We didn't have much money but I asked my husband to drive through Burger King to get her a coffee. When we went to give it to her, she screamed at me and told me she hated coffee and wanted chicken mcnuggets. We gave her the nuggets. I never knew after this day that a wonderful friendship would begin!!

When I would see her, I would stop to talk to her to see how she was doing. At one point she thought that I was stalking her. I told her I just was concerned about her well being and wanted to make sure she was doing ok. The more we saw her, the more she began to trust me. At Easter time, she told us she was very hungry for a Pizza Hut Pizza with pork sausage on it. I told her we would meet her on Friday and get her a small pizza. She then said, SMALL, that isn't enough for me. I then agreed that we could provide her with a large one. My husband called me and told me that Pizza Hut no longer put pork sausage on their pizza. I said maybe we'll just get it with cheese on it. That evening when we saw her, she accused us of lying to her. She knew that they still had pork sausage. I told her I don't lie and that I was sorry that they didn't carry that any more. We handed her the pizza. She looked inside and threw the pizza on the ground. My husband was furious!! He told her we didn't have money to throw away. Before we left, she settled down and asked when she would see me again. I told her I could meet her on Tuesday after Easter weekend.

When I met her again, she brought up the subject of pizza. I told her of our financial circumstances. I explained to her that my husband was ill and disabled and that we were on a fixed income. Her whole tone of voice changed. She began to mellow out and wanted to hear about my husbands illness. She never did apologize to me but after that occurance, she never asked us for anything again.

Our friendship continued to grow. I gave her my cell phone number. She would call me occasionally to see if I could meet her some where to talk or to take her to the store. She knew that she could truely trust me!!

My life has changed since meeting Crissey. God allowed me to take the blinders off of my eyes! I saw her as a wonderful person.

The last time I saw her was when I was on my way to do one of my nursing visits. She was sound asleep on a bus bench with her grocery cart by her side. That is the last I ever saw her. That week I received a telephone call from a hospital that was quite a few miles away from Toledo. Crissey had given them my phone number. They needed some information about her. I asked them if she was ok. They said she was getting clearance before she went to jail. I asked them to please check her for TB. She had a horrible dry hacking cough. Later that day when I spoke to them the said that the test for TB came back negative. They also let me know that she is HIV positive. This crushed me. Here is this poor woman with no one who is probably dying from aids. I pray for her often. It has been about a month since I have seen her. I just pray that someone else will be able to see the beautiful person that she is.

I would love to share more of this story with you!! One of my long term goals is to write a short story entitled the empty bus bench. I could relate very well to a lot of what you went through while on the streets. I saw and heard how people treated her. I am so amazed at how the church even responds to homeless people. I have been praying for the church that I attend because Crissey did visit there and the welcome wasn't the greatest.

Thanks again for the story!! I would love to be able to hear you speak some day and to be able to meet you!!

In Christ's love,

Terri Swartzlander

PS my meeting of Crissey allowed me to meet a lot of people and also caused me to really did deeply into scripture. I am amazed how one person touched so many lives

Posted: 2009-08-08 16:59:05

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