Cecelia is a gentle spirit barely surviving in the urban thistle of addiction, prostitution, and trying to survive on the streets of Kensington while residing under a bridge. I've known her for about 18 months. I've come to know members of her family. All love her and she loves them. There does remain that river of despair that separates them from each other. A bridge of love manages to keep them connected if but by the thinnest of thread.
A couple of days ago, I saw Cecelia high as a kite, sitting in a chair barely aware of her surroundings. My heart broke for her as I considered all that she could be and all that her family prays for her to become once again. I touched her chin and she gazed at me through blurred sad eyes. I reminded her of her family's love and I named each with whom I've had interaction by name. There was only the mildest of reactions. I stepped away.
No sooner had I gotten maybe 20 feet from Cecelia, that she slowly rose from her plastic chair, navigated past two tents, waddled up to me, hugged me and held on for maybe 20 or 30 seconds.
I reminded her of her family's love, again, naming each one who I've come to know by name.
She continued to hold on.
I reminded her of God's love.
She held on.
I reminded her of my love for her in the Name of Jesus.
She held on as if a broken kitten.
A moment of silence and then…
Without saying a word, she let go and made her way back to her plastic chair…
I turned and cried.