Another young woman in her mid twenties came in for lunch at the mission and she was average looking, very lean and using heavy. She was doing what they call the "flail" which is moving about in a way that her body is difficult to control, not as though she were drunk, but it almost looks like the behavior of someone with M.S.
She was clothed in the most distressing manner; clothes dirty and messy, and her pants were unbuttoned and drooping off of her to the point her pubic hair was showing. She had the street grime on her feet and hands and I felt I just had to help her in some way and asked if we had a belt for her. We didn't but I realized it was impossible for me to do anything because she wasn't coherent and I'm sure she would have become combative if I had tried to help her in any way. I looked for a female volunteer but to no avail. So, I handed her the lunch and watched as she reeled and lurched her way out. Here I was right in the building where she could find safety, shelter and counsel and I was impotent to do anything. She just haunted me and her state of vulnerability was so perilous I just couldn't imagine her going a day without suffering some brutal attack. I found myself wondering whose daughter this was and the blood chilling horror they would feel if they saw her in this condition.
The following day, and for a week now, she has been on my mind. We hear of people that are found dead and castaway in the city from time to time and I realized she may well be in one of those reports. So I write her story to help me remember to pray for her because I know at some point my memory of her will fade and she will become just one more nameless person on the streets. Oh God, help keep her safe.