By Guest Author Kathy Walshe
I would like to tell you about an experience I had a couple of weeks ago. My husband Joe and I had been watching some documentaries, and one lady on there said, “Just love the person in front of you; love the one in front of you.”
I thought, “Okay, Lord I’m going out, and you just put someone in front of me to meet. I’m going to minister to this person.” Joe had an envelope that he needed to be sent by certified mail, so I took it and went to the Post Office.
Joe had an envelope that he needed to be sent by certified mail, so I took it and went to the Post Office.
When I got there, a gentleman, one of the homeless people, was sitting in the shade by the Post Office. He had a guitar case there. I thought, “Oh, well that’s pretty neat. He is just not asking for money; he is going to play songs for people.”
As I went by, I said hello to him and he said to me, “Would you like a song?”
I said, “Well, I have business in the Post Office, but I will catch you on the way out.” I went in, and there was this long line of people, and I had to wait. When I got to the counter, the envelope that I had could not go certified mail. I knew I’d have to go home and redo the envelope. I thought, “Okay.”
When I left, I didn’t know if the gentleman would be there or not, and sure enough, he was. I told him, “Well, I’m ready for my song now.” He gave me a selection of songs that he knew. I said, “I’ll take the spiritual one.”
He said, “I know two.” One of them was about the crucifixion.
“I’ll listen to that one.” There was a little ledge. I sat down and he played this song. It just brought tears to my eyes. I was just really moved by him singing this song about Jesus crucified. When it was over he said he had a Bible there and would I like to read the scripture verses he had told me to read. And I said, “I’ll go home and read them.”
He talked some more, and we chitchatted, and he said to me, “Can I ask you a question?”
I said “Okay.”
“Who would Jesus look like to you?”
I looked him in the eye — I squatted down to look right in his eyes -– he had pretty blue eyes -– and said, “You know, no one’s ever asked me that question before, ‘Who would Jesus look like to me.’” I looked him straight in the eye, and said, “Jesus would look like you.”
He was just — well, you could see the tears in his eyes — just that someone would see Jesus in him. He said, “I’d like to play you another song.”
The love song
“Okay.” It was Jim Croce’s song, “I’ll Have to Tell You I Love You in a Song.” I thought, “He’s telling me he doesn’t have the words to tell me how much that means to him and how he loves me as a sister in the Lord.” As he sang that song, I thought, “Lord, that is so neat, you know, that he is telling me he loves me.”
We spoke a little bit more, and I put some money in his hat, and he thanked me for it, but in the end, I said, “You know, well, I have go,” and then I asked him, “What’s your name?”
He said, “My name is Jack.”
I told him my name and said, “Well, if I don’t see you anymore down here, I’ll certainly see you up in heaven.”
When I got up to leave he stood up and said, “Here, let me pray for you.” He put his hand on my shoulder, and we prayed.
I thought, “Thank you, Lord, not only did I ask for you to put someone in my path who I thought I would minister to, but you put someone in there who sang to me, who said they loved me, who I could see you, Jesus, looking just like this person, and he ministered to me and prayed for me.”
We never know who the Lord is going to put in our path, but each day we need to be open to see, “Lord, who do you have there for me this day? How can I touch them or how will they touch me?” So thank you, Lord, for blessing me with such a wonderful experience and loving me.
Kathy Walshe grew up in Buffalo, NY, moved to Texas in 1977 and met Joe, her husband of 38 years. They have six children and nine grandchildren. As a parishioner at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Garland, TX, she is a Eucharistic Minister and a Lector. As a member of the Christian Community of God’s Delight, she has been involved in Girl Scouts, JCDA, Youth and Community Life Ministries, and now serves in the Mary and Martha and Emergency Preparedness Ministries. Joe and Kathy went to Kurdistan, Iraq, in the summer of 2012 to teach at a Chaldean Catholic School, Mar Qardakh. “Joe and I feel called to love the one person we encounter wherever we are with the love of the Lord, nothing else, no strings attached, no condemnation, just loving them and praying for them. We have expectant faith and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us,” Kathy said.