Ms. Kay8:30 AM
I laid in my bed last night snuggled between the warmth of my down comforter and my fleece lined hunting socks and all that I could think of was Ms. Kay. Now most of you are probably picturing a sprite little dark headed lady with a spatula in hand who we all know and love from the reality show Duck Dynasty, but tonight my thoughts were far from the lime lights of a reality TV star, though I love her dearly and her chicken n dumplings are out of this world.
Ms. Kay came into my life on a cold Wednesday evening about a month ago and since that time I am no longer the same. My husband and I work with a church in the inner city of Monroe, LA right on the ULM campus. Our church building is the simplest of brick buildings and not in the best part of town, but the love that meets together and flows from that place is priceless. She walked through the front doors with four precious kids, not her own, just from the neighborhood and asked if there would be someone that could get them home. With slurred speech she began to tell me that she was a friend of the mom and that she had volunteered to walk them down because the mother did not want them to walk alone. It had been months since we had seen these precious girls so we were more than happy to make sure they made it home safely. I remember asking Ms. Kay if she would like to come into the adult class and she just shook her head pretty fast, but was not in a rush to get out the door either. “Would you like to talk” was the next thing that came from my mouth, not real sure why, but oh was I in for a treat. Ms. Kay can talk and talk we did for the next hour on the rugged old couch that has sat many a folk in the foyer of our church. She began to tell me about her life and there were times that I wanted to laugh and plenty of times that I wanted to cry, but more than anything I just wanted to be her friend in that moment in space and time.
Ms. Kay’s famous words “I aint gonna lie to ya now” was the most endearing thing about her, she told it like it was. Confessing to be an alcoholic she told me “now don’t you give me any money, because I will go right down to that liquor store and get my fix.” I remember when I found out that she was homeless I thought it my duty to make sure that she had a warm place to sleep, yet over and over she replied “honey I am fine, honey I am fine.” By the end of our conversation my husband had joined us as well as another precious lady from our church and there we sat like long lost friends catching up on a lifetime. The words that she said near the end of our conversation will stick with me always, “I want different.” She wasn’t referring to her current state of homelessness, but yet that she wanted a different life, free from the alcohol, and though she didn’t use these terms I know that what Ms. Kay wants the most is freedom from the bondage of sin that only our savior can provide.
So as I lay in my bed last night on this particularly cold night and I thought of Ms. Kay. I leaned over to my husband and asked if he thought she was ok. We prayed for her right then, for her warmth and safety from the cold, and a prayer of thanks that she stumbled into our lives. Since our first meeting Ms. Kay has showed up several more times at church, sat in on a meeting to help advice us on ways that we can reach out to the homeless and even went with a friend to help serve at the soup kitchen. What is in store for Ms. Kay I do not know, but I am thankful that I call her friend. I am thankful that as I lay in my bed most nights concerned with my own to do list, needs and wants, tonight I was thinking of someone else. Ms. Kay has never been my “homeless project” no, turns out I am hers.