For the past several years I’ve worked as a volunteer with women in crisis. I’ve heard hundreds of stories that are beyond my imagination. The broken lives and gut-wrenching stories have changed my heart in many ways. I’ve learned a lot about compassion and listening. Hearing about a situation from a political or media view versus sitting across from a woman and listening to her personal story usually gives a different perspective.
A new season is opening for me as I’ve said yes to going to a new location. It’s near a downtown intersection where over 60,000 cars pass by daily. Yes, daily. There’s a bus stop and a light rail stop there as well. Behind our building are apartments that house refugees from many nations. I’m told by the fire department workers close by that they’re known to have bed bugs. Our police friends tell us it’s known as the worst area of our city. It helps to know I have friends in the I.C.E. agency around the corner. There was a stabbing in front of the building last week.
When I was asked to consider going there, I went with a friend who knows that area well and we walked the perimeter of the building and prayed. A lot has changed for me in the past few years. Risk-taker wouldn’t have been a description of me as I grew up. Timid and fearful were more like it. I’ll turn 60 later this year and I’m taking on a new adventure as ‘retirement’! I’ve never pictured myself going to the ghetto. It certainly was never on my list of what I wanted to do when I grow up! But I admit, there’s an excitement inside that’s beyond me. I have no idea what awaits me in this place. My ‘yes’ to God is echoed by His ‘yes’ to me. That is enough for me.
Several things began to shape me with courage and boldness. 1. Reading about miracles and hanging out with people who continually experience the miraculous ways of God boggled my mind and created a hunger in my soul. 2. Spending time with God that was quality and not short-changed by a busy schedule. It sometimes felt like I was doing nothing, but I began to see the benefits and He began to change my heart.
My grandpa John had a quote that I have taken as my own – “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
The solution for any crisis always has at its heart the same answer – Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Because my God is a Life-Giver, I can be a Life-Giver. The reason I believe in Jesus, is the reason I believe He offers the real answer to life’s problems. Not easy answers, but ones that will transform lives. Whether in crisis or not, He sees each of us as valuable and worthy of His love. Human beings want to know this. It’s not just for a certain place or time, it’s for everyone everywhere we go. My part is to be trustworthy and faithful to bring that Good News.
I won’t blog or write as much as I focus on this intense new area. I know I will always write stories to inspire because stories inspire me. If you want to be included as a recipient of the stories of this new chapter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.