It was cold. The wind was blowing the snow across the streets, swirling down the alleys. However, she was on a mission, pushing her heavy, old cart, along behind the stores. Each dumpster was a possible treasure chest: the possibility of food, bedding, even perhaps a toy. She always held out hope.
She had been going for hours, searching for things to take home to her little family. She had found some dented cans and some scraps of food. She was happy with the pillows, cushions and blankets, too! They would be warm and have full tummies this Christmas Eve! She even came across some little balls and other toys she thought they would like.
She smiled at the full cart. She knew the little ones waited for her. She needed to get back to the old boarded-up service station. It was at the edge of the neighborhood, still quite a walk, and darkness was approaching fast.
When she entered the dark, boarded up building it was quiet. As she began singing, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, she saw little pairs of eyes peering out from the darkness. The streetlights lit their eyes. She smiled at them, “Come on then. We will be warm and fed. We are blessed sharing this Christmas, together.”
She spread out the blankets and arranged the pillows, singing carols as she worked. As she opened the cans, they hungrily ventured out. She put down the scraps for her little family of stray cats. As they ate, she continued to sing to them.
Finally, they settled into the pile of blankets and pillows together. She was thankful for them, and her ability to share what she had with them. Making the sign of the cross in silent prayer, she softly breathed, “Amen.”