Whenever I go to Urban Hope
, I look for the various homeless addicted people who I’ve been getting to know. On the surface of what’s happening, it is random. Will I see David and Autumn? …Ian? … Gina? …any of the others I’ve not written about? …Mickey? As it turned out, Mickey was the only one I saw today of those I already knew. I did add a Steve to the group as he was acting as a Wawa Store Doorman in hopes of raising addiction money. Before I left, he had received a granola bar and a paper with Urban Hope’s weekly schedule from me and I received a thank you from him.
I sat in the Wawa parking lot and ate my Chef Salad with its two ranch dressings and two packages of croutons with a chocolate milk on the side. With almost two hours before the Recovery meeting to which I was hoping to take at least one of these homeless addicted human beings, I decided to drive to B Street and Lehigh Avenue to see who I could find. That was not to be. God had another plan.
I wasn’t even out of the Wawa Parking lot yet when I saw Mickey standing at the edge. I called to her and she came to the driver’s door and we chatted briefly. I asked if she’d eaten recently and she said no. I asked her where she’d like to go and she mentioned Pizza Hut across the street. I suggested that she get in my car and we’d drive over. As she got in, two Philadelphia Police officers in one van pulled up near us and asked her what she was doing. I said that we were going to Pizza Hut. The officer who was driving said that if he saw her at Wawa again, he’d haul her in. He then started balling me out for supporting her drug habit by feeding her when she needs to get into recovery.
With a boldness that has come over me from parts never before known, I informed the officer that I was taking her to dinner so I could talk her into going with me to Urban Hope’s recovery meeting. I pointed out my green Urban Hope hoody that I was wearing and his berating of me turned into an apology and sincere interest in my efforts and Mickey’s wellbeing. I gave him a copy of the paper I hand out and he said he was going to make copies to hand out too!
Mickey and I went over to Pizza Hut and split a personal size pepperoni pizza as we sat on the sidewalk at the back corner of the store
. (There is no inside seating.) As we sat there, we talked about her cocaine and alcohol usage, how God loves her and how there is a healthy life to be found. She has told me in previous chats that she hates the taste of alcohol and says plainly that she is an alcoholic. Tonight, she told me that alcohol is her god. “That’s a profound statement Mickey.” I told her as I thanked her for her honesty. I was so intrigued by her honest and candid insight that I called Rick right then and there. The three of us chatted and Rick was powerful and compassionate with his opening words to her by phone.
Just after we hung up from that call, Mickey asked if we could go back to Wawa so she could buy some M&Ms. We did but before going in, we sat in my car and watched Rick’s video. But before I go further with the description of what happened next, let me set the scene for you…
Mickey is 29 years old. All of her siblings are dead from overdoses. Her parents don’t seem to be in the picture. She’s been living on the street for about four years double addicted to cocaine and alcohol. She’s alone and trusts few of the other street people. No one wants her to come into their store. I’m sure that if I knew more of her story, I’d be shocked at what I would learn about her.
With that short introduction as to who Mickey is, take a moment to watch this video of Rick
. As Mickey heard Rick’s testimony, she held my cell phone in her hand as we sat in my car in the Wawa parking lot. Her eyes started to mist. Her chin began to shake.
And then it happened… Mickey cried.
Mickey cried as she heard maybe for the first time ever in her life in this video and from me that God loves her just as she is and wants her to be healthy and whole. She tried to absorb this new-to-her eternal truth but it was too much to hear all at once. It was time to let the idea of God loving her settle into her soul as we went into the store to buy those M&Ms.
When we came out, I asked her if she’d like to go to the recovery meeting. She respectfully said no. She asked for a hug and then went back to the front door of the Wawa to raise her next $10.00 to be spent ASAP near the tracks.
The seed of the message of God's love has been planted. Dear LORD, let it grow. Amen.
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