Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things aren't always what they seem...

Once there a young girl who fell in love with a man. To escape a hard family life they decided to wed. They had 4 children, went to a promient church and I can only imagine she dressed her little ones in the finest. She was a stay at home mom, she loved her children, and all seemed well. Her prince had an affair, got his mistress pregnant and at 29 she found herself a single mom to four children under 8. She had never drank. She had never been to a bar. Her friend suggested they go out, she did and had her first black-out. She describes what many alcoholics do about the first time they drank, "I finally felt peaceful". And thus her hell begin. She put herself through college and got a degree, she got a well paying job and by the time she was 33 she had made her way to AA. She was sober 15 years.

The story doesn't end there...she relapses, a few times, not for long, but enough to screw her life up. Today Lady "D" as I will call her, is homeless. She see's none of her children. She is alone and has a liver cancer. She starts chemo on Friday. Tonight Lady "D" sleeps under our roof. Tonight she helped me cook and is old enough to be my mother. Tonight she shared stories about her golden years of being a mother and cooking every night. Despite her circumstances Lady "D" has an extremely positive and happy disposition. She is thankful for even the smallest things and offered to give me her food stamps, meekly and humbly. She once was a mama just like me, she was healthy and raised her children...and ironically we realized I was friends back in the day with her girls.

I don't know the different paths she chose and exactly how she ended up where she is. I do know her roommate who shared the bills and rent relapsed forcing Lady "D" to once again be homeless. She is beautiful, you can tell she was a knock-out in her prime. She is fun and lively even though she feels very sick. She has Jesus and hope and she glows. On one hand it terrifies me to think she went back her addiction, but it reminds me "but for the grace of God there go I". So pray for Lady "D" that her hope won't fade, that she can remain with her eyes fixed on Jesus and we will know how best to care for her. We praise God for a house big enough to share with her for a while, food we can provide for her and we pray for compassion to shower upon her.

She calls daily for a bed in a homeless shelter, but they are all full. Tonight as we sat on the porch and listened to the pitter-patter of the rain, I was grateful for everything I've been through. That I am able to share my experience, strength and hope with her. That I am broken and in need of a Savior just as badly as she. So, as the rain continues to fall, Lady "D" will hopefully sleep peacefully tonight knowing that God has met her needs for another day and despite her feeling very alone, from a worldly perspective, she is a sought after, chosen child of our God who offers hope and redemption to us all. It has been life-giving in sharing what I've been given with another, and it's only by God and through God that I am, today, not in her shoes.

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