Last night, I prayed for two women. They both live in the park and cried while we asked the Lord for protection and healing. Jesse has a medical issue that has affected her voice. She speaks in a gravely whisper and it’s hard to understand her. I have a doctor, a nurse, and a social worker with me and invite Jesse to speak with them. She is excited and tells me the details of her medical issues. While we are waiting for the doctor, there is loud music and yelling, coming from several tents. There is a man smoking crack and a woman smoking meth sitting near us as well. A man who is agitated approaches, swinging a piece of rebar over his head. My outreach partner says, “heads up” and I prepare to engage in possible street drama. Another man, sitting next to my new friend Jesse, lets us know that he has our back. “Don’t worry, I see that guy.” I ask Jesse if she wants to pray while we wait for the doctor. I kneel and ask if its ok to put my hand on her shoulder. I pray that she would recover her voice. The folks on the bench listen, as I thank God for seeing and hearing us. I ask God to heal any wounds or trauma that may be impacting our health. I can feel her body shake and am in awe of how open she is to God. The doctor listens to Jesse’s fear about the emergency room. Jesse listens to the doctor’s concern about her health. I love to watch the medical professionals in action. I offer to take Jesse to the hospital and give her my card. She is appreciative and we agree to talk again next week.
Cathy is at the other end of the park. She is alone and scared. Her boyfriend has beaten her and taking all of her belongings. She tells me that, “He wanted to control me, and I can’t be controlled”. She lifts up her shirt and shows me a giant bruise on her side from being assaulted. I write down the address and number for a domestic violence shelter and introduce her to my medical outreach pals. Cathy lets us know that God is going to deal with her ex-boyfriend, and that she has done nothing wrong. I affirm all of her wisdom and am amazed at her resolve. We pray for protection, and I am in awe of how open she is to God.
I had the chance to pray for a woman that has dedicated her life to serving God. She works in a part of the world where her identity as a Christian missionary could get her killed. She lives her life with the understanding that, as followers of Christ we are to, “live dead”. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him (John 12:24-26).” I am in awe of how open she is to God.