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This story begins in the spring of 1998 when I began collecting rent money from tenants in the apartment buildings my husband managed. On one of my trips I met Sue, a drug addict, an alcoholic – a lady who was lost without hope.
Sue could not have been any more different than I was. I grew up with loving parents, lived most of my life on a farm, and was in the midst of raising my own family.
Sue, however, had to raise herself, lived in the projects, and had no idea what love was.
I share how a few small acts of kindness, turned into an unusual, seventeen-year assignment, intentionally planned for me by God, to help one person: Sue. I was being, sent-for-one.
I recall the times I rescued Sue from abusive relationships, take her calls from jail, bring her food and clothing, and even though it appeared Sue’s destructive lifestyle seemed impenetrable – love eventually broke through those barriers.
I hope this book will inspire you to never give up on anyone – there is always hope for the hopeless.
Here is a short excerpt from the book:
I stepped into her apartment and closed the door behind me. What a dirty place, I thought. The apartment was small. I could see all the rooms from the main area where I stood. In the living room in front of me, there was one cloth chair in the corner. Years of smoke and dirt had left the well-worn material an indiscriminate shade of brownish-gray. A single, rickety wooden chair sat next to an equally rundown card table. Along the wall, there was a lumpy futon, folded down into a bed with a tattered blanket crumpled up on one end.
“Sit down,” she said.
I quickly surveyed my options and decided to sit on the wooden chair, the only piece of furniture without fabric, without taking off my coat or shoes.
The kitchen was clearly visible to the left from where I was sitting. It was a mess. The dishes were piled high in the sink, still splattered with leftover food. I noticed an open bag of bread on the counter and garbage piled so high that it had spilled over onto a dirty, almost sticky floor. Looking to my right, I saw her bedroom. A crumpled piece of fabric that was once a sheet was strewn across an old mattress. A worn-out blanket lay balled up next to the stained sheet. Clothes had been tossed on the floor, and everywhere you looked, in every room, there were empty beer and liquor bottles.
I sat in quiet shock. I’d never been in a place like this, nor with a person like this in my life. This is simply unbelievable, I thought.
She seemed kind of quiet, somewhat subdued—and rightly so. She didn’t know me. We talked for several minutes. She wondered where I lived, and I told her. I asked how long she had lived in this apartment, and she said a couple of years. After a few more minutes of idle talk, she gave me her rent money. As always, she had the full amount.
“You’ll come next month?”
“Yes, I will, Sue.” And with that, I left.
Little did I know then, I would continue to visit her for the next seventeen years and that one day, she would call me her best friend.