She cuts herself to deal with the pain of her childhood. She’s lived a lifetime in eighteen years, and drinks regularly to cope. We met her on the streets, and over time have become friends.
She lived at home in intervals: until the fights with her mom got so bad she had to run to the streets. Mom’s moved away now, so the choices are fewer nowadays. Hard times, especially in winter.
Elgin Street, Monday night outreach learns she had been arrested for drinking in public at 8 am that morning, and she would be released at 10 pm. It was 9:45.
At the police station we introduced ourselves and asked if Amy could be released to us. Sure, no problem.
When the door finally opened, a bedraggled little girl emerged: bare foot, ripped jeans, dirty t-shirt, scared, sullen, disoriented. She didn’t know what was happening. Then she saw us.
Her countenance flashed from darkness to light like lightning sears the black sky. That someone had come for her – unbelieveable. Even more disbelief – that someone actually cared for her. “Thank you.” “Thank you.” “Thank you.”
A sudden slap back to reality as questions flooded her mind. How am I…? What am I…? Where can I…? Who can…? The uncertainty of street life rose defiantly and mercilessly – driving her back to those age old problems . No shoes, no clothes, no coat, no place to go, no way to get there…
An interruption from outreach: “Hey. It’s going to be O.K. We can help.”
Words of comfort seldom heard bring a sense of calm. Disbelief that these people wanted to be her friend, and have come for her. For her.
Sometimes we are able to offer hope in a world of darkness.
Sometimes we see hope birthed in people minds.
It’s a critical cornerstone in building relationship. A small thing for us, but huge for Amy.
Just a little thing: but it might be enough to change a life.