Over the past couple of months that I have been riding with UBFM, I have encountered many new friends living on the streets of Memphis. My first connection was with a lady named Johnny May. She was hesitant at first when I approached her with a smile and a dinner proposal, but once the actual exchange of my hands being emptied and her hands being filled, the whole conversation changed; a warmer face appeared, softened by an inkling of trust and appreciation. One step further, when she realized there was no catch or long speech attached, she politely suggested, “A young lady shouldn’t be out here in this part of town alone. It’s dangerous.” I pointed to some other members riding with me that night, who were a little ways down the road, explaining that we all ride together. She retorted, “Well, you make sure they take care of you. God bless.”
Although short and sweet, this experience stays with me. When you care, a stranger can care right on back. I don’t know if Johnny May was homeless, but I do know she was alone and hungry. She didn’t know me, but that night she saw a young girl, riding a bike at ten o’clock at night, alone, on the streets of Memphis, caring that she was hungry.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. –Colossians 3:12
Last night, I met a new friend named Frank. He is a sixty-two-year-old veteran, taking care of his grandchildren, who are now grown. He was afraid to take anything from us at first because he has been arrested in the past for asking for food. When we assured him we wouldn’t let that happen, he happily took in some dinner and began to share with us a little about himself.
“We all slip and fall. And that’s okay, because at the end of the day, we are all just alright. God is good. We are alright.”
He went on to commend our bravery for being on the dangerous streets of Memphis, sharing God’s love with those less fortunate. We are all indeed the children of God, all loved equally. I hope I get to see Frank again. Frank reminded me of this literary gem from, The Prophet, that I have held close for a long time. It’s a small portion of the actual book, but grand in what UBFM stands for.
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”
-A UBFM Member