Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lunch with Carol

Today I met Carol at the picnic table outside in our park. We had lunch. Well, I had lunch. Carol didn't bring lunch because she says she doesn't eat anything anymore. I said that was nonsense and gave her my bag of potato chips. She didn't eat them but seemed OK with the idea of feeding them to Pebbles, her parrot.

We planned to meet at the picnic table at 1:45. I was five minutes early, but Carol was there waiting when I arrived.

Carol did most of the talking today. She usually does. She says alot of things that don't make sense and alot of things that make a whole lot of sense. Sometimes it seems to me that her stories are false. All these bad things that have happened to her. Really bad things. I think she makes them up. She's not well. And then other times she seems to me to be the most sincere person I know. She's smart and funny. Sometimes I laugh hard and out loud.

I know. I know to be careful. I will be cautious. Because all of these things she tells me, they can't be all true. They really can't. It would be too awful.

She's not well, mentally...I think. When Jesus says that we visit Him when we visit the sick, do the mentally sick count? Or do I run away because mentally sick people do things like massacre 33 people at Virgina Tech University. But when I have lunch with Carol I know that she couldn't hurt a fly. When I hand her my bag of potato chips, she has a sweet and honest smile, and pretty eyes. And when I tell her that God hears her prayers, she thinks about it, and then says she believes me.

9 comments:

Mz Jackson said...

Wow! This is a wonderful story. Keep us posted on how Carol is doing.

euphrony said...

Sometimes the hardest people to show love to are the people who need it most. I've reached out to people, before, trying to help and been burned for it (i.e. they were soon after written up in the paper as someone to call the police about). But I don't regret it at all. Better to help and do what you can, whatever the short-term repercussions (but only do what you can do, because none of us can do everything and trying to do what we're not intended for can do more harm than good).

euphrony said...

And kudos for your willingness to be there for Carol.

FancyPants said...

Good words, Euphrony. Thanks.

I needed to hear the part about you not regretting it.

And it's true about only doing what you can do. I don't think I'll make her better. I think she needs the friend. Someone to smile at her instead of ignore her.

Shaun Groves said...

I had a Carol in college. His name was Anthony. I left him PB&J sandwiches on the dumpster behind my house.

The little interaction we had shaped me tremendously. Like the time he asked me why I wanted a diploma? Try explaining that one to a homeless street preacher wearing the same clothes every day and a constant smile.

kddub said...

That is awesome that you can be there to help her, just by listening and being her friend.

SandinaJ said...

Carol is so blessed to have you as a friend. (Aren't we all!)

The Cachinnator said...

Life's easier if Jesus doesn't love the mentally ill because that means we don't have to either. Unfortunately for us, he does. Well done, Fancy.

FancyPants said...

Hey Shaun! Glad you're here. My brother and his roommates always had friends like that in Waco. I always admired the way they fearlessly gave. Once a homeless man they knew well broke into their house at night...I guess to take whatever he could. My brother's roommate woke up and, if I remember correctly, his roommate basically said, man what are you doing? You know we'll help you out if you ask. And gave him something to eat.

I think that's how the story goes.

Thanks kddub and San.

Cach: You're right about that. Strangely enough, you feel lighter once you do it. Happier.