August 6, 2019:
I could see the pain in her eyes. The specifics of her circumstances were not at first clear.
It's not as though people live with blinking neon signs on their foreheads reading, "Addict!" Or "Homeless!", or "Violent!" or "Untrustworthy!". Still something was clearly not right. Her eyes were subtly haunted, at times not so subtly. It was more than mere hurt. She was afraid. Where the fear was immediate, visceral, urgent.
She tried so hard to be positive. To see the beauty in the sunrise and the good in individuals, trusting in God to lead her to safety. She said, "I watched the dawn this morning at Natural Bridges, isn't that the most glorious thing?" She didn't confide that the reason she'd seen it there was that she was living in her car, and Natural Bridges was where she'd parked that night.
She told me, soon after our first date, that she was thinking of giving her last pocketful of change to the homeless. Give, and you will receive. Look at the birds of the air, consider the lilies of the field. As she stood at the very edge of the edge of surrender she thought to herself, Isn't God saying, at this moment, Trust that I'll take care of you? Spoken with such forced hopefulness, from a depth of despair I could see clearly but could not then comprehend.
I suppose, God did provide. Through me. I gave her my guest room, where it all went immediately straight to hell. Because I was drawn to the pain in her eyes, while searching for someone whose own struggle would enable insight into mine.