August 30, Day 59 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
It is difficult to be on a bicycle tour and NOT BIKE! We have been in Sioux City, Iowa, for almost two weeks as I rest my leg. We have been waiting patiently (most of the time) and asking for lots of prayers so we can get back on the road and finish TheHopeLine Tour of 2014.
While we wait, I’ve had the unique experience of catching a few rides on the Sioux City Transit System bus. One woman I met was a cashier at a grocery store near the mall. She looked like she wanted to talk. She had a huge smile on her face, despite being on her feet all day. Her face lit up when she talked about her flower garden. She was an influencer. Her flowers inspired her neighbor to plant her own garden (with this woman’s help) and that, in turn, inspired another neighbor to utilize her green thumb. Isn’t that the way it should be? One person inspires another person and it is passed on to another and another. Our world would be a better place if we all influenced each other in the multitude of positive ways we could, if we only took the time and effort to do so.
On another day’s bus ride, I sat next to a woman who has had some tough times. She had just lost her paycheck. It was pouring out, so even if she had found it, it would have been soaked. She also shared that she had just lost her job. Previously, she had lost her house due to nonpayment. Her countenance revealed the tough times in her life. When I told her about our bike trip and fundraiser, she shared that her 26-year-old nephew had been killed on his bike. That wasn’t exactly uplifting news for this bicycle tourist to hear!
While I was sharing with her about TheHopeLine, a woman in front of us turned around and talked about her 16-year-old daughter, who refused to talk to the family therapist. When I showed her TheHopeLine bumper sticker that was in my hand, she quickly typed the phone number and the website into her phone. I hope her daughter contacts a hope coach. She would surely benefit from some help and resources.
This same woman was sitting across from a man who had greasy long hair, dirty clothes, a ruddy red face, and looked rather bloated. She said she lets him come to her house, shower, and get cleaned up. He is a homeless alcoholic in need of help, but not willing to give up his addiction, she reported.
It made me wonder, What does it take to reach out and ask for help? On our bike trip, we’ve had to ask for all kinds of help. Just today, I asked the front desk if anyone had an umbrella I could borrow for my day on the town. We don’t pack them on our bicycles. One of the girls ran out to her car and grabbed hers.
It is humbling to ask for help, and most people are more than willing to lend a helping hand. They may even consider it a privilege. Helping others is one of the joys in life. When I see someone so down and out, like that man on the bus, I wonder why he doesn’t want a better life, and reach out for the help needed to find it.
When Tim and I volunteer on TheHopeLine, we are impressed with the young people who honestly want help. They listen, take suggestions, and appreciate having someone who listens, encourages, gives them godly advice and resources, and prays for them. No matter our age, we all need help at some point in our lives. Life’s problems? You could say that the bus stops here.
Tim and I would like to ask for your help. If you’ve not yet pledged support to TheHopeLine, won’t you please consider doing so now? It only takes a minute at this webpage. If you’d like to read why TheHopeLine is a great organization to support, click here.