Skip to main content

The Ring

She stepped into the dark of an early winter evening, bone-weary despite an hour sitting with her meal and homework. If she hurried, she’d make it to class in time.

“Please, ma’am!” A woman stepped from the shadows, white ice skates hanging from her hand by the laces.

She was no stranger to needy ones on the street, but wasn’t often in this neighbourhood. She looked up and waited.

“Someone broke into my apartment this morning and took everything.” The woman held up the skates. “I’m trying to sell these because I need the money.” Opening her other hand to reveal an ipod and ring, she said how much she bought them for, adding, “I only want $40 for the three. It’s a really good deal.”

Yes, it was certainly a bargain, though chances were that the woman was pawning stolen goods. She shook her head to decline the offer.

“My father was diagnosed with cancer yesterday. He’s in the hospital and I want to get to him before he dies. I haven’t eaten today. Could you please help me?”

Wary of a scam, she noticed a half-dried tear on the woman’s cheek. Weighing her choices, she heard the One say, “This one needs you.”

With a slight nod, she reached into her bag and pulled out five dollars. “I don’t want to buy anything, but I’ll give you this. Can I pray for you?”

The woman nodded.

Putting her hand on the woman’s shoulder, she began to entreat the One for help—about the woman’s stolen possessions, her need for food and money, for her father’s health. When she asked the One for joy in her life, the woman burst into tears. The emotion was real. “Would you like a hug?”

The woman nodded. “I gave my life to Jesus. I’ve been clean from drugs for more than a year.”

“Wow! Congratulations! Good for you!” She thought of the woman’s need and her very sick father in the hospital. “How much is the bus fare?” City Transit would not make change, but she knew she had enough coins she could give the woman.

“I need another six dollars.”

“What hospital is your father in?” Clearly it wasn’t in the city.

The woman named a town several hours away. “The bus comes in half an hour. Could you give me the six dollars I need?”

She shook her head. Five dollars was far more than she would normally give a stranger on the street. Someone else would have to provide the rest. The One gave her a nudge. “I could give you a ride to the bus station.”

“I can walk. It’s not that far away.”

“True, but I’m going that way and you don’t want to miss your bus.”

They walked to the car and continued to talk as she drove. The woman again asked for six dollars, counting out what she had. “I could pay you back if you gave me your address. I would send it to you tomorrow. My parents have the money.”

The One spoke to her again, but she kept silent.

“I’m going to have to get another Bible. Those who broke in destroyed mine.”

“I have a Bible I can give you. If you let me know when you are back in the city, I could give it to you then.”

The woman brightened. “Maybe we could go to a Bible study together?”

“Perhaps. My church has many street people.”

They pulled into the bus station and she spoke out what the One had whispered earlier. “I have an idea. Why don’t you give me back the five dollars I gave you, and I’ll give you twenty dollars.” Her hand was already in her bag, searching. “This will cover the rest of your ticket and give you a bit to buy a meal. I will give you my address, but I don’t want you to pay me back. Let me know when you are back in the city and I’ll give you a Bible.”

The woman’s eyes pooled with tears. “Would you pick me up and take me to church?”

“Of course! Just let me know when you’re back in town.”

The woman reached over to hug her and then pulled something from her pocket. “Here! I want you to have this.” The woman held out the ring.

She paused with indecision. Respect must always be given, but was it right to take the gift? What if it was stolen goods? The One whispered again and she replied, “Okay. If it fits, I will keep it.”

The fit was perfect and she gave her thanks. The woman once again hugged her, opened the door and got out.

“God be with you,” she said.

“Thank you,” the woman replied, then closed the door and walked into the building.

She drove away, jockeying with two taxis for the exit. She was late for her class but she didn’t care. She heard the One again, “Whatever you do for one of the least of these, you do for me.” It was enough.

Previous Story | Next Story


Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.

My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…