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The Story of the Wagon Lady

Margaret Siders died at the age of 92. The last 20 years she was a familiar figure seen daily in the downtown area of Shreveport. She pulled a little wagon through the streets, sifting through the trash for edibles and discarded clothing. She lived alone in a small tin house since her husband died six years earlier. Her body was being kept at the Caddo Parish morgue because no one had agreed to pay for her burial.

Aren't you saddened when you read stories like 'this? I know I am. I'm saddened when I think of her loneliness. Her mate was gone and she apparently didn't have anyone in the world. She didn't have anyone in life or anyone to mourn her death. I'm saddened when I think of her lifestyle. What an image she burns, pulling her wagon from trash can to trash can. A smile would come across her face when she'd discover an edible or wearable treasure. Then she would go home to her humble abode. How do you feel when you think of her loneliness...her life...her death? But wait, there's more to her story.

When authorities entered her home, looking for clues of next of kin, they also made an interesting discovery. Police detective, Bettye Brookings, had befriended Mrs. Siders and shared with the other officers a suspicion she had. "When you go in, keep your eyes open. You are looking for more than a name and phone number." She led the group in and went room to room, but it was in the bedroom where a rumor became a reality. Bettye reached inside a hole that had been cut in the mattress and pulled out some books...bank books. The figures showed that the "wagon lady" had about $250,000 in four local banks, and possibly more in another account. Novi, how do you feel, once you've read the full story? What emotions come to mind when you consider how she chose to live when she possessed so much more? How do you explain the enigma of Margaret Siders?

Before you come down too hard on Mrs. Siders, does her story remind you of your own? No, not literally.. I'm not talking about something that can be revealed in a bank book; however, another book does come to mind. Do you live your life in light of what you possess? Or do you live in denial? Does your spiritual life reflect more rumor than reality?

Look at your "account statement" in the opening verses of the first chapter of Ephesians. Do you see the reality of your situation? Praise be to God...who has blessed us...with every spiritual blessing in Christ...adopted as his sons...to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us...In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us...In him we were also chosen...Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory.

How do you feel when you consider one who chooses to live an impoverished life when treasures are. possessed? Sadness still comes to mind.

Dwaine Powell