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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.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Out of My Love for Diane, Guide Me God.

My maternal grandfather was listed as Missing In Action (MIA) for several months during World War I (WWI).  Once home, he refused to ever talk about those months.  To this day, we have no idea what he experienced.  We will never know.

Life as a homeless person dealing with Substance Use Disorder has some parallels to my grandfather's story.  They endure far more than what we hear about from them.  More often than not, these men and women enter their Substance Use Disorder and homelessness through the doors of some form of emotional trauma.

Once out on the streets, they endure more trauma by way of harsh treatment from Non-Substance Use Disorder persons, the medical community, and the legal system.  For men standing on street corners, harsh words and items thrown at them by passersby are common.  For women doing 'dates', degradation and violence are far more common than we ever hear.

That's what makes "Diane" such an awesome witness to her Christian Faith.  She endured far more as a person imprisoned on the streets by a situation she did not want and from which she sought healing than we will ever know.

Diane never told me any of the incidents that she would have most likely experienced.  Just like my grandfather's stories, we will never know. 

But I do know this:

Before the living water of Diane's life evaporated from the fine crystal and porcelain vessel that we recognized and hugged, she declared her Faith in her LORD and Savior one more time and in a way for all of us to know.  She wrote this in a letter to me that I received three days after she died:

Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Diane are grieving our loss from our unique perspectives of parent, sibling, children and extended family or friend.  For some of us, this Christian Faith thing is not understood.  We grieve our loss of Diane in the absence of her Savior. 

Diane endured so much in her life and yet her Faith burned bright.  Maybe, just maybe, those of us who are struggling with our loss in the absence of Diane's Savior could consider taking a closer look at the One she claimed as her own.

In our loss of Diane, we are enduring so much pain.  If you are enduring this pain in the absence of the One Diane called Savior and LORD, I'd like to invite you to take a closer look at the Faith of Diane.

Perhaps this could be your conversation with God:

God, I'm hurting… I don't get it…  How could Diane experience so much pain in her years of suffering and yet maintain and declare Faith in You?  She knew of Your Love as an absolute Fact of Life.  I don't.  In honor of Diane, I'm willing to learn more about you.  I don't know that I'll ever really believe as did she but I'm willing to take a peek at who You are.  I'll read some of Your Bible.  I'll visit a church.  I'll ask others who share Diane's Faith.  My heart hurts so badly right now.  I don't get it God but out of my love for Diane, I'm willing to learn more.  Guide me, God.

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