It was the day before Christmas Eve, and as I drove to a city where I was to meet my sons for lunch, it was hard to find a parking spot, as so many people were out and about on the last shopping day before Christmas. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood in this upscale downtown area where I was meeting my sons for lunch. Many were dressed in their holiday best, and there were families everyone; children giddy with glee as they undoubtedly were looking forward to opening presents soon. Since I had to park quite far away from the restaurant where I was to meet my sons, I had a few blocks to walk. At one corner, a woman who was sitting down by herself and talking caught my eye for just a moment. She was on the other side of the street, so I did not get a close look at her. "Why is she talking when she is all alone?," I quickly thought, but I was late for lunch and I pushed the thought to the back of my mind thinking "she probably has an earbud on and is talking on the phone to someone." Later, as we were finishing up our lunch on a table that was outside in front of the restaurant (the restaurant was very busy, and the only table available was outdoors as it was quite cold out), a woman walked by that caught my eye. She was not neat - she was dirty, carrying a backpack, smoking a small stub of a cigarette that I guessed someone had discarded, and had multiple layers of clothing and jackets on, well worn and dirty. I later learned she was in her mid 40s, but she looked older than that. She noticed me looking at her, and said to me: "God bless you! Jesus has redeemed me, and God is the God of second chances." I replied: "Amen! He certainly is the God of second chances. God bless you too." We began a short conversation, and I was waiting for and expecting the imminent request for money - but it never came.
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