He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
A Timely Visit
Berniece is a well known,heavy,drug addict in our neighborhood. She is known for her thieving ways as well as for all the lies she loves to tell. However, she has no problem telling you when she has lied and what she has lied about. We don't get to see her as much as we did when she lived down the street in one of the drug homes on our block..but when we do,we have the best time with her. She is so funny! Kevin says, it trips him out how she manages to "pop" at the funniest times. Last night she came by and we were just ending our dinner with the staff and interns. She had everyone laughing and smiling. After sharing many of her stories about prison and smoking crack,one of our interns begin to pray for her. This brought her to tears.Throughout the night she begin to share, with those of us who were still there, how she is tired of living in the streets. She wants out of the lifestyle she is living and just cant bring herself to stop. Now,we have in the past known her to tell many lies. But, for some reason I believe this time to be so different then when she has claimed she wanted to change before. Kevin asked her where was she living, she responded with "wherever I can lay my head..which is everywhere". She ate a little bit and then begin to share with me in the kitchen how she really wants to change,she says "you know,I know in order for me to change, I have to be around people that are different, who are doing better things with their life". I told her how she was ALWAYS welcomed to come and be around us. She beings to cry again and talk about how when she was standing outside our door ready to knock, one of our other neighbors begin to tell her to leave us alone, and that she didn't need to come into our home bothering us. Of course, Berniece was like "woman please".. Many of our neighbors are concerned about us and the Kellys. They say we are naive, and we let many of the people in our neighborhood walk over us because of the love we show them. But, we cant help but to think about what Jesus words were in Luke 14:12-14
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
We pray one day they will understand. I'm glad I let her in because I was reminded what wondrous love the Father has for us through her being in my home. She asked us if she could call her daughter who lived near by. Berniece, wanting us to listen so that she could prove that the things she was saying to us were true, put her daughter on speaker phone and once she said hello her daughter begin to say with so much concern and excitement,"Oh mama, you have just made my day, I am so glad to hear from you,you just don't know how this makes my day" A daughters love and concern for her mom who had abandoned her at a young age for drugs had not changed. Her son then picks up and adds to the excitement and thankfulness of hearing his mothers voice. My heart just ached. They wanted her to know how well they were doing. Her daughter is a senior in high school. A star on the basketball team, she has dreams of going to the WNBA. She told her mom, "mama, do you see how well I am doing, you don't have to be on those streets, I am doing this for all of us, so we can have a better life" Berniece just cried. She asked them could she come see them and they said "of course". Kevin told her he would take her to their home,afterward, he asked to speak to her son. He thanked my husband for looking after his mom and for having her in our home. Berniece, thanked us and talked about how she loved us and our friends because she never feels judged. She continued to tell us how she knows that no matter what she does she knows she can always come here and share how she feels about her life and know that there will be people here to listen to her.
I am so thankful and overwhelmed at the LORD and all HE does. I really cant say that enough. I woke up this morning praying for Berniece and her drug addiction. Then I begin to thank the LORD for giving me another picture of how He accepts us,no matter what our background and past is. He forgives the worst sin. He left his heavenly home to dwell amongst people that the world would have wanted nothing to do with. He is a restore of Hope for all who would believe in Him. Please continue to pray for the salvation of Berniece and all her children.