These are some of the most broken, most precious memories that I have.
Each is of a different person, a different place, a different soul--
A different moment that changed my life forever.

Her.  Those huge brown eyes, the most beautiful I'd ever seen. Those tiny hands in mine. The little soul that snuggled its way into my lap, my arms, and the very depths of my heart. A small, vibrant, precious life with an endless capacity to love, to laugh, to sparkle... And to long. To weep. To cry. To be afraid. 
You see, she'd never been loved before.

Him. His broken English told that he was a wanderer, but it could not have told how very far his soul had wandered from the very thing it longed for. When first he came to me, a hunger lingered deeply in his eyes. His words were full of desperation, filled with an innocence that only wanted to know if I understood his suffering. He longed for little more than for me to have shared his pain; to know if I had known the helplessness, the depression, the confusion, the darkness that haunted his steps and his dreams.

 I had. And as we spoke, he changed. The dark Hispanic eyes that had been so full of a darkness all their own began to cradle a smile. The smile became a sparkle; as he drew forth from me all that he could about the healing I had found, the burden in his eyes lifted until it was nearly gone. Because I told him about my Jesus, and at last, he found the name of what his wandering heart had been searching for the whole time. 
It was Hope.

Her. Her sobs were so great they might have torn her apart. Yet the angry words that spilled from her threatened to tear me apart. I listened as she threatened to drag me away into the darkness, to hurt me, abuse me, to violate me in the most horrifying of ways. It was midnight on the busy boulevard and she was bigger than me; she could have done it. But then I held her in my arms as she begged to know why she felt so safe with me. Because, you see, the things she threatened to do to me were only what she herself had known.
She thought she knew what love was. It was brutality.
Him. He offered me his battered violin, gathered from yet another story he had yet to tell me; and as I knelt on the cold, littered stones with him, we spoke about the God who imagined music from nothing and treasured lost souls so dearly as to die. As we spoke, his eyes grew wide and he began to ask questions. It captivated him, this idea of love. And as we spoke, his curiosity grew. He wanted to know. Wanted to understand. Wanted to think, to listen. He wanted what I so desperately wanted for him.

Then his friend handed him the drugs. And before my eyes, I watched him forget.
Her. She was fishing plastic out of the trash cans, trying to find something, anything that might be traded for the coins that would bring her home. Home to the child whose birthday was being spent without his mother. Home from the freezing midnight that we met her in, from the haunting memories of sickness and hospitals and the cold homelessness that was somehow supposed to be freer than both of them. We gave her clothes. I knew that clothes weren't enough. She needed them. But she needed so much more.
I went back. The others were leaving. But I had to go back. Just to tell her how beautiful she was. How loved she was. How precious she was.
She wept. And when I finally left, I was weeping too.

Him. He was trying to sleep in the alleyway. Tattoos painted the shell of a soul that was longing for love. A soul that had seen everyone it loved go through pain. His hands trembled in mine. He was suffering, too.

He wept. And wept. And wept.

These are the ghosts of my memories; the ghosts that have heartbeats and names and faces. They walk through my dreams and haunt my prayers. I cannot forget them. I do not want to. To ache for them means that still I am alive. The moment I cease to hurt for them would be the moment I no longer possess a heartbeat.

I have a heartbeat. It rises and falls on the wings of their suffering, their pain, their heaven and their hope. To remember loving them is to remember holding the hands of my Jesus, gathering Him closer in my arms than ever before. To remember.
I remember, tonight. 
I remember it all.
Category: 0 missives

0 missives: