Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  I've noticed this one girl, maybe late twenties, coming to our meeting for the last three weeks. She was sitting off to herself last night and she seemed focused on what we presented. She has that, difficult to define, appearance that I see from time to time; I suspect she was on the streets for a while because she has that unkempt look, with a hollowness in her dark circled eyes, skin that has an ashen shade with just a hint of yellow in her eyes. I think it is the look of the I.V. heroin user, but I don't ask questions unless they lead. She had four tiny jeweled studs in what one could imagine was a pleasing face with health returned, but it almost seemed to me that she was hiding behind those tiny jeweled studs, two above her lips and two under. A shyness or maybe a cowering, like a beaten puppy; and yet I could imagine her cutting you with no remorse as she watched you bleed. Christ began to well up in me and I knew I had to talk with her. When the meetings are over it is chaotic with fifty people beginning to leave, conversations, laughter and commotion makes it a difficult time to have meaningful conversations but I went up to her and shook her hand. She looked at me almost as if she was expecting a scolding, maybe just hesitancy, and my mind raced to find a warm introduction. I looked at her sad appearance and said, "You look like someone that is gaining ground and going forward."  A smile began to spread over her face and she enthusiastically nodded her head and spoke a few words in agreement, not knowing where to begin and in the midst of chaos, I asked her if I could pray for her, and she said yes.

I began to put a hand on her shoulder when she turned into me and began to hug me. I had both hands on her shoulders and she seemed so frail, and just kind of wilted into me, very thin and it reminded me of the words on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Surely she was one of these, and the lamp of the Holy Spirit was bursting with light as I prayed words of hope, faith, expectation and the love of God that was bathing that moment in time as her eyes flowed with tears. These are the moments we pray for. 

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