Just yesterday I pulled out the old mountain bike and took a ride to a small town just outside of London, to visit a man who was inquiring about the work of Sanctuary. It was an absolutely beautiful ride down country roads. The sun was shining bright, and the humidity was no longer in the air on this fine August afternoon. After a half hour or so of peddling, I pulled up to the address.
There he was, standing in his front yard, scissors in hand, cutting blossoms off his Rose of Sharon tree. He immediately met me at the top of the driveway with a warm welcome, and I thought to myself, "this must be what it feels like to visit your grandfather"… He invited me in, and we made small talk about the nice ride up, and about ministry. Before long, he was going into great detail about his years of service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and about how he met his wife on the coast of British Colombia.
With a bit of a sigh he told me that he had to say good-bye to his vehicle about a month ago. "Ever since the year I retired, I would take that car on a trip every year, first to Newfoundland to visit my grandchildren there, then to BC to visit my grandchildren there. I just hope, now that I don't have my car, that they'll come every once in a while to come see me."
And then he got down to the real reason for his inquiry. "I've heard a little about Sanctuary, and I believe it is one of the great works of the city of London. I may be shut-in, but at 88 years old, i am still learning. I am learning about people in need in this city, and I want to make a difference. That is why I want to support your ministry… I just need help filling out the paperwork."
With the paperwork done, we continued to chat a while longer. As it became time to leave he rose and gave me a big hug. Following me out the door, he looked up to the sky and smiled. "On a perfect day like today," he said, "my deepest desire is to bring flowers home to my beautiful wife. But since I can't do that, it would mean a lot to me if you would bring these flowers home to your wife." And he handed me the cup of blossoms he was cutting when I first arrived.
As I rode away, I imagined going back to a simpler time (the old fashioned country farmhouse made that pretty easy), when the pace of life was slower, and all that really mattered was gathering enough firewood to stay warm through the night, and caring for each other. Smiling, i held tight to the cup of flowers in my hand and raced off, excited to share this adventure with my wife.