I always speak from my heart, and today is no exception. I only write a blog when I have something to say, and recent events have touched me in such a profound way that my heart is overflowing with gratefulness and thankfulness that I can't contain. We have lived on McIver Street for almost 19 years now. People don't understand that Mike and I feel called to this life, and don't realize what we gave up to live as we do. Many people might even think that we have wasted our potential. I know there are times when I look at friends and colleagues who are now deans and heads of departments and think: that could be me. And to be honest, sometimes it makes me a little sad. I think that my life could be more comfortable if we had made other choices. We often feel judged for the choices we have made, and sometimes I just want people to understand why we have made those decisions. I want people to agree with us, but that usually isn't the case. So there is a type of loneliness in doing what we do. But we aren't alone. Not really. We know we are doing what we feel called to do, regardless if people understand or agree. We know that we are walking out God's plan for our lives. And then something happens, and we are given a little glimmer of hope, a nugget to hold on to that keeps us going. In the past few weeks we have been given several of these golden nuggets that keep my heart full, and we know we are walking out God's perfect will for our lives.
A few weeks ago, I was finally able to talk to one of the women who walks our street after praying constantly for her for over 10 years. For ten years I have prayed for a woman that I could only describe to God as the Nubian princess. That is how I see her. She is tall and elegant, and always dressed with style. And yet, I wonder where do those clothes come from, and how does she put those outfits together. After all, this is McIver Street. One time the Lord spoke to my heart and asked me if I realized that I may be the only person in the whole, wide world who was praying for her. After that I started to pray for her with a new fervor and passion knowing that no one might care enough or love her enough to pray. Ten years. No name. And then a few weeks ago I was walking one of my dogs, and she was out walking the street, and she finally spoke to me. She asked me about my dog. One thing led to another, and I told her how I pray for her, and how I love the way she dresses. She asked me my name, and I asked her for hers. I have waited ten years to speak to her. We forget that sometimes these things take time. We lose hope in what we do....and then one day-- everything changes-- and now I know her name. Remembering names on this street is important. It is a test to see if people are important and really do matter.
Then a man came to our back door and asked the kids if that Christian man still lived here. The kids came to me, and said someone wanted their dad. I went to meet the man, and he told me some of the things Mike had done for him, things I didn't even know about. Once again, he needed Mike, and wanted to know if the Christian man could help. I couldn't do for him what Mike could do, but I could feed him, which I did. He left smiling and happy with a meal and some hope.
Then last night we saw a woman walking down a nearby street. I felt like we needed to stop and talk to her. It appeared to me that she was crying. We stopped and asked her if she was okay. She wasn't. I got out of the car to go to her, and she told me she was tired and hungry. I told her we could feed her, and we would put our heads together about finding her a place to stay. We ran into some people from church who, discerning the situation, secretly slipped me some money to help the woman. We were able to get her a good meal and find her a place to stay at a boardinghouse, but not before we spent a lovely evening driving around and sharing. She told us that she had been praying for help, and God sent us. She said she knew that He loved her, and we knew it, too. Before she left, we prayed for her, and she kissed my cheek. I can't tell you how much that touch meant to me.
There are other stories that I could tell, but this gives you an idea of what we have been doing. But here is the truth: these people didn't need me, I needed them. I needed hope. I was the one who needed a touch from God. I needed to be reassured that I was in His will. I needed to know that I had not been forgotten. I am no different than the people we try to help. I still need the same assurance of love from God that everyone else needs. I can sit here and say all the right things about redemption and what Jesus did for me on the cross. And without a doubt I know that God loves me. But sometimes I am still a little girl who needs to know that God has not forgotten me, and that there is some value and worth in the life I am living. Sometimes I need to know that I have not wasted 19 years of my life helping others and living a lifestyle that no one can understand. God saw my heart, and heard my cries. He offered me hope, and I took it. My heart is full and thankful. I feel renewed and refreshed. I can keep going....