By David Ramos
On Saturday my wife Gigi and I decided to go out to eat breakfast so we went to a local spot to experience the joys of being served hot coffee and all the morning rituals that breakfast affords us. While we were there we couldn’t help but notice an old man who was walking table-to-table selling some items. Gigi found him cute and I knew that we would end up buying whatever he was selling. Sure enough this old man came by and began to speak to us. He was a wonderfully gracious man and the more we spoke to him the more emotional I became. He was selling a very attractive and unique directory and organizer. Gigi went on to purchase it. As the man spoke he began to tell us that he was a Christian and that he worked for decades with the Salvation Army. We asked him his name and with a quick chirp he declared that his name was, “Mr. Bailey.” Mr. Bailey was 86 years old and while his face was extremely wrinkled and he seemed to have only one tooth, he nevertheless walked around with impressive strength and posture. Mr. Bailey told us that he had seen these young men sell items and he thought, “I can do that; I’m not dead!” He went on to tell us that he planned to climb Mt. Washington next month. His honesty, grace and charm won our hearts in seconds. I began to experience sorrow for Mr. Bailey wondering about his economic condition and all the elderly people in America forced to work in Wal-Mart’s and other convenience stores because they just can’t make ends meet. I began to wonder if Mr. Bailey had family members that took care of him, that loved him, honored him for all his years of service in helping others. However, Mr. Bailey was far from a pitiful sight, he seemed healthy and strong, he had a pleasant and cheerful demeanor, he even encouraged us. He told us that he had been meditating on a verse that he would like to share with us, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).” Gigi and I were moved by his presence, his word, his life; we felt that God had spoken to us through Mr. Bailey. I began feeling sad for Mr. Bailey but did not feel that when I left his presence, here was this youthful old man, full of joy and life, full of goals and vitality conducting his small business on the side. I’m sure I have a lot to learn from his example. If you keep on reading Psalm 37 you will find another interesting passage in verse 25, “I have been young, and now I am old: Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” Thank you Mr. Bailey for demonstrating for us what it is to live a life of faithfulness.
Dave, this was wonderful “chance” encounter. Mr. Bailey’s dignity speaks volumes to us. It’s good to get a word when and where you least expect too. It’s even more wonderful that you were able to share this experience together with your wife.
It’s amazing how Mr Bailey still has the audacious goal to climb Mt Washington even in spite of his present physical and econimic realities. What a wonderful example for those who have twice as much stength as he, but sometimes with only half of his courage. I hope I’m like that at 86. Wait…I hope I’m like that tomorrow.
Shout out to my sista Enid! Yea, u gotta give props to Mr. Bailey, for his strength and cheer throughout the years. Thank you for your words of encouragement today.
Hello, Enjoyed the website. Please post information about upcoming events. Information is power and it needs to be deseminated. Juno…(You know)