I am completely ruined and forever changed. As I was sitting here today writing about my whole experience behind the bars, I found myself needing a break, this is too much to fast and all consuming. This new set of eyes to see the things I hadn't seen before has really shaken my comfortable existence.
I decided to take a walk and as I came to the corner I usually come to I saw a woman holding a sign that said "homeless, God Bless, hungry", I felt the Lord tug on my heart to go pray with her but with an attitude of being bothered I responded in my heart with "Lord this is why I got up to take a walk, to get away from this".
But I followed the tug and walked up to her and asked if I could pray for her, she said no she needed to work so she could get food to eat and that she had just gotten out of prison a couple months ago (of course) and I proceeded to share with her how I just came back from prison myself. This opened up for a great conversation where she shared for twenty min. I just listened. I told her that I walked this way daily and that maybe the next time I was out I could take her to lunch. She looked me in the eyes and called me beautiful!!! Can you believe it…..? She called me beautiful, it was like the Lord speaking straight through this strangers mouth.
All of a sudden I felt like not only was I hearing the voice of God but I was also in the very presence of my Lord and savior. This woman had know idea the significance of her words and how much it meant to me that she would share her pain and hurt so quickly. As she poured out of her brokenness I realized how much I needed her more then she needed me. I fell in love with her like I did the women I had just met days before, the beautiful woman behind bars. I stood there with her for sometime watching people just drive by, no eye contact, no acknowledgment of her presence. I found myself feeling guilty for the many times I had done the same thing.
As I was getting ready to leave a man walked up to us who happened to be her fiancee of 17 years. She introduced me to him as her new friend and as I walked away from Buddy and Becky all I could do was think great “now I don’t see prisoners or homeless people". I also thought who is sicker, those holding the signs who know they are down and out or those passing by ignoring those who are out there?