Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Monday, October 06, 2008

Questions

It's amazing the favor I've had with the guys at the Nightshelter. From the time I arrived they were very accepting and responsive. And over the past two weeks I've not had a cross word with any of them.
Now I just need to work out the next step. I've come all this way to be a practical representation of Jesus; to be the hands and feet of Jesus, if you will. And they've accepted me and opened up to me. But how do I respond to the girl telling me about the hatred she has for her father because he abused her from the time she was a toddler? And how do I respond to the 17 year-old who came in hallucinating from drugs he almost overdosed on? And how do I respond to the middle-aged drunk man who was sexually assaulted and now has death threats against him because he went to the police?
It's one thing to have to turn someone away on a cold and wet night because there are no beds available. It's another to have the words to say to the broken ones who do make it through the door. How does the girl from Texas whose never touched a drug, been mistreated, and who has never doubted that her daddy loves her respond to such brokeness?
I just don't know sometimes . . .

5 comments:

Tirzah said...

I don't know, either, man. That's complicated. I know you're "blessed," though. :) (See Psalm 1.)

What sometimes helps me if people come to me with complicated problems is to remember that love covers a multitude of sins, and that listening to people who need to vent is often a major help.

I'll be praying that God gives you wisdom!

Cristina said...

Wow, I don't know what to say... I have no answers, but I can pray for you and that you find the wisdom and that the words come to you.

dani said...

Deb, you just love on them. They don't really want words. Once their hearts have softened then the words and the message of Christ's love for them can be given...for now just be His hands and feet. Minister to them physically by serving them. (Just don't love on the guys too much cause they will mis-understand. Even talking too closely/intimately to guys can be dangerous...Let the other guys that work at the shelter do that. You stick to the girls.)

a. said...

just love them, girl.

Debbie said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I'm trying to love them the best I can.
And thanks for the caution, Dani, that's what I try to do. We're fortunate that we have so many guys on staff this time around. Four years ago there were only three or four and it was quite common for three women to be on shift alone. No bueno.

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