For six years Judith has had a love/hate relationship with Thursday’s, but more specifically Thursday evenings. She volunteers at the church where her father is a priest.
She hates it because it’s the day her dad’s church hosts the homeless and anyone else that needs a hot a meal, a shower, a warm bed, someone to talk, or a shoulder to cry on. “I hate seeing these men and women come in. It just breaks my heart,” Judith said. “And the children,” she said choking back tears. This was her lament every Thursday evening for six years.
But she loves it because she know she’s doing something good. She would say, “I love doing this because it’s God’s work, but I wish I could do more.”
She wants to build a housing complex for the homeless and the poor, so they don’t have to sleep on the street or even wonder where their next meal is coming from. She wants a place where they can get skills training, education, and whatever else they need to survive on their own again.
One morning she made that her prayer and she prayed that prayer every morning for months.
Judith and her father walked to the church on Thursday’s. It was an opportunity for them to catch up on the days events and prepare themselves for what was to come. “Daddy, that’s the perfect place for the complex,” she said pointing to a couple of abandoned apartment buildings.
“Yes, it is,” her father said smiling at her. “We’ll have to pray for this, too.”
She stopped in front of the gate surrounding the buildings, clasped her hands together, lifted her head toward the heavens and began to pray. After her prayer, she and her father continued on to the church. When they got there there was a man standing on the steps
A man met him on the steps. “Are you Father Crane?”
“Yes. And who are you?”
“My name is Blair Owens.
“Oh my God,” Judith said. “He’s one of the richest men in the world.”
“I’ve heard a lot about you and what you do here and I had to stop by and see for myself. I like what I see and I want you to have this,” he says handing a check to Father Crane.
“Write it for whatever you want.”
“Daddy,” Judith says tugging on her father’s coat. “The apartment buildings.”
“What apartment buildings?” Blair asks.
“The abandoned ones on Tisdale,” Judith says.
“Why do you want those?” asks Blair.
“To help the homeless and poor get on their feet.” She explains her idea to Blair and his smile gets wider and wider.
“That’s a fantastic idea. I wish I thought of it,” he says. “They’re yours for $1.00.”
“What?” Judith says.
“For $1.00 they’re yours. Do you have a $1.00?”
“Really? You’re not playing a joke?”
“Nope. You can have them.”
Judith pinched herself to make sure that this was real and not a fantasy. She looked up to the skies, opened her arms, and fell to her knees. “Thank you, God!” she said. “I always knew you would answer my prayer. The prayer’s of these people.”
It’s been years now. The apartments are refurbished and people have gotten skills that have helped them get back on their feet. And now and then Judith asks, ” Is this real life or is this just a fantasy?”
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