“I’ve been on my own a long time. I left home when I was 10. Been on my own ever since.”
Edward told me this as we sat together in the drop-in. He is about 65, with tired but kind eyes. He is a quiet, gentle man who can be easily missed in the large drop-in crowd.But he always nods his head hello with a smile.
I can only imagine the kind of childhood home that would make a 10 year old run away. He said recently he tried to reach out to his remaining family members, but they wanted nothing to do with him. He had tears in his eyes as he told me is all alone in this world.
I couldn’t help but think of the youth I work with, and how many of them have recently left home and are just starting out on their own. I told Edward that it was amazing that, despite what he’s been through, and despite not having a family, he has maintained a gentle and loving spirit. There doesn’t seem to be an ounce of bitterness in him. I told him that he gives me hope for the young people I know who have just left their families.
“It’s God. God gives me hope.”
He said, “I know that God loves me and wants me here. I can’t read the Bible, but I know God loves me.”
“Why can’t you read the Bible?” I asked – foolishly thinking maybe he didn’t have a Bible.
“I can’t read. But I can feel God around me. I know He’s here.”
It was a beautiful moment, listening to Edward talk about his faith.
A faith that trusts in the presence of God,
even in times of loneliness.
A faith that believes in a loving Father,
even in times of abandonment.