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.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I hugged a beautiful young woman tonight...

I had seen her as I have other times when I've visited Emerald City[1] sitting on a blanket casually dressed in jeans and a reasonable shirt for the current temperature.  After distributing waters and chatting with several men and women, I circled back to the beginning of the row of about forty people. She was now dressed as if ready for a semi-formal night out or a church service in some mainline high society church. 

Under the bridge, such dress does not mean fancy dinners or formal worship.  It’s the invariable sign that this young lady is about to go looking for dates for the rest of the night, possibly until the sun rises tomorrow – which means she’s out there right now as I type.

We’ve chatted enough over these weeks that I felt that I could ask her if I could give her a hug.  She said yes and as I did hug her, I told her to “Be safe out there.”  She said “Thank you.  I’ll try.” And then she asked me if I had a coat she could have since it’s getting chilly.  With ten bags of clothes in my car, I figured that I had something. 

We went to my car which was parked in its typical place just above the bridge.  We went through the bags in search of something that would work for her.  This was my opportunity to lightheartedly point out God’s love for her as I piled coats on her that clearly covered more than she wanted to be covered for the night.  “I’m just being fatherly,” I said.  She seemed to appreciate that.

We found a couple of coats and after a bit; she said: “Well, it’s time for me to do what I need to do.”  She asked for another hug.  As I hugged her, I simply said: “I care about you because Jesus loves you.”  She said, “Thank you.” And off she went to rent out her body not because she wants to nor because she enjoys it but rather to provide the funding needed to avoid dope sickness.

Some people might say that I shouldn’t hug a “prostitute.”  Before she was doing what she’s doing, she was AND IS a daughter.  She’s also a mother and a wife in a marriage that’s trying to find its way back to health.  And so there I was, hugging a hurting soul searching for the path back to her husband, son, and parents and in the moment of doing so simply saying “I care about you because Jesus loves you.”

Planting seeds...

This video can explain it in a way that I can’t.

 







[1] The nickname was given to the community of people who live under the Emerald Street Bridge.

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