Trailer Park…pt 3 – the incarnational journey

Christmas came and went. New year’s came and went. Two weeks later a few of us thought we should go back and connect with the people we had met just days before Christmas. Upon arriving at the Trailer Park we tried to identify the manager’s trailer. We eventually discovered which home it was and knocked on the door.

We were greeted by a sweet but tough looking elderly women, who had lived there for over 25 years. Her name was Martha (not her real name), a widow of many years. She greeted us with warmth and a fitting name… “The hamper people”, as she called us.

We had not left an organizational name, a church name… just our individual names the day we dropped off hampers weeks earlier.

Martha told us in all the years she had lived there that nothing like this had ever occurred. Total strangers leaving gifts and showing kindness with no strings attached.

She said to us that day, “There was no advertising in the mail to follow up your gifts, no request for donations, no invitation to attend something, no nothing, we couldn’t believe it was that real”.

We spent some time getting to know Martha that day and she began to take us around and introduce us to the rest of the trailer park community. A handful of us, Robert Penner, Donovan Hare, Louise Myers, Franz & Michelle Wesley, Sandy Groening, and a few others began a weekly trek to visit our new friends in this community.

Week after week we came back to visit the various people we began to meet. We were trying to follow the thread of God’s favor and to to simply be present with our new friends. We would often sit at their kitchen tables and chat about life, hardship, joys, and without fail there was always something to pray about or pray for. We took those moments as God moments and stepped into them when they came and they seemed welcomed.

I believe it was our 3rd week visiting when Martha had told us she had a bad back/hip and was in lots of pain regularly. We asked her if we could pray for her.

She said, “sure”.

I knew what she meant in her response. When we are at home and kneeing down by our beds we could toss up a prayer for her. However, we meant something different.

So I said to her, “Martha would you be O.K if we prayed for you right here and now?”

She looked at me surprised. I could tell she was reading her ‘trust meter” to decide how she felt about that idea. She scanned us all and then looked at me and said, “yes”.

I then gently asked her if it was O.K. if I prayed for her by putting my hand on her shoulder. The others standing beside me. I told her it helped me to connect to her as I asked God to touch her. She seemed O.K with it and again agreed. As I reached to put my hand on her shoulder I noticed she was eyes wide open, staring at me.

I closed my eyes to deal with the discomfort of her staring at me, not as a posture for prayer. I peeked moments later as we began to pray and invite God to come near her. As I peeked I found she was still staring at me with her eyes wide open. But then I noticed tears beginning to roll down her face. Martha’s body starting shaking. She had never been to church, never had someone pray for her before like that.

She then said to us, “What is happening to me?”

I gently responded with, “Jesus is coming near you and touching you”… she agreed with a smile and the obvious sense of peace that came over her countenance.

We prayed for Martha many other times and she was always sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s touch. We prayed for many of the people there for many things all out of relationship. We became friends who cared for friends and offered what we had to the friendship.

For the next leg of the journey read Trailer Park…pt 4 – the incarnational journey

Todd Rutkowski

~ by blueporch on October 10, 2012.

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