Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Friday, August 18, 2017

The Prodigal Daughter

There might be a few people who read these blogs who are wondering who I am...

I won't bore you with some long drawn out story but here are a few snippets of my life...   

I was adopted into my family.  

I am the oldest of two adopted into my family.  I have a wonderful sister who lives in Chambersburg Pa.

My Dad was a pastor, specifically an Episcopal priest.  Mom was an English teacher who specialized in private tutoring.

I grew up in and love the church and was taught from very early on about God's love and message of Salvation.

After graduation from high school, I became very active in leading the youth ministry at the Church my Dad served.

I've been learning to play the guitar for a few years now.

OK...  That's enough for now...  Let me get on with my blog...

On Tuesday evening, I was spending time with this amazing community of homeless and addicted friends under the railroad bridge when a new-to-me young couple strolled into the conversation.  The young man is someone I've seen on the streets for a few months but the young lady is someone I'd not seen before this night.  She caught my attention because she was obviously pregnant, seemingly new to the streets, and smoking crack cocaine.  Did I mention that she was obviously pregnant?!?!?!

The wheels of disgust began turning in my head and heart as I watched this hideous behavior unfold in front of me.  I felt sick to my stomach as I watched this otherwise "cute as a button" young lady cause potential damage to her unborn child.  I wanted to scream at her but knew to do so would destroy any hope of guiding her and the others I've sought to serve under this bridge.

Letting the moment unfold on its own, I prayed for guidance in what to do and say if anything.  Self-doubt that I'd know what to say began to slip into my thinking.  "What do I have in common with a pregnant very young woman who smokes crack during her pregnancy?"  "How can I have any kind of common life experience from which to gain entrance into her life story?"  (The boyfriend had wandered away.)

Chris:    "Hi. I don't believe we've met. I'm Chris.  Would you like some water?"

Nicola:  "Hi, Chris.  Thank you.  I'm Nicola."

Chris:    "It's nice to meet you, Nicola."  I attend Urban Hope Church at 210 East Tioga."

Nicola:  "I love church.  I am adopted.  I'm the oldest of several adopted children in my family. My Dad is a pastor.  After high school, I helped lead my youth group.  I played guitar there too."

"Good heavens, Nicola!  We're practically related!" I explained our common backgrounds and conversation flowed easily from that point on albeit on the lite side of what I really wanted to discuss.

Two evenings later, I saw Nicola and her boyfriend again.  We talked about her plan for putting her unborn child up for adoption, my concern about her use of crack and her plan for completely stopping that practice "by Sunday."

And then Nicola said something that helped me to appreciate the depth of her buried Christian maturity.  (Summary): "In about an hour, I will be meeting with my mother at a local restaurant.  I just told her today that I'm pregnant.  I will cry as I tell her how sorry I am for messing up so badly.  I will seek her forgiveness and do all I can to help her understand how truly repentant I am for all I have done.  I know my Savior forgives me.  Chris, today, I am the prodigal daughter!"

Nicola and I briefly prayed together.  Her boy friend had quietly slipped out of the conversation.

If Nicola's prodigal daughter story goes as did the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, I might not see Nicola again because she will have moved home to a loving Mom and (pastor) Dad and off the streets of Kensington.

For privacy reasons, Nicola's real name has been changed for this blog.  Our LORD knows her and her situation even better than does she.  Please hold her and her family up in prayer during this time in their lives.

UPDATE: This blog has a second chapter, so to speak. I invite you to click here for it.


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