A few weeks ago, I came across a heart-breaking post on the neighborhood senior lead officer's FB page. I saw the photo of Ginger, and was reminded again of how fragile, how fleeting, how delicate life is- like a vapor. Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow (Psalm 144:4). The woman I had sat with at North Hollywood Park my first days out attempting to discover homeless outreach evangelism, earlier in February 2016. The tall and soft-spoken lady, with the perfect size 10 feet to match the shoes I had had sitting in my donation closet for months. Apparently the LORD intended for her to have them. I will never forget how excited she was about those shoes: black Applebottom boots with metal studs on them, unworn and out of the box new.
I asked her about what she was doing out there, sleeping in the park, why she was homeless. It had been her longest run out on the streets at that time, she said (8 months if I remember correctly). She- like myself- had come in and out of the streets, depending on the relapse, the bad relationships, one bad decision to the next... always struggling with temporary fixes to hide the hurt of more deeply wounded situations. She struggled with tears a few times when sharing about her children that were taken away from her... the times living in motels, and loving broken men who abused and abandoned. How much I understood her, and how I knew that pain, and how grateful I was that the LORD gave me a chance, a renewed life- redemption. How much I wanted to heal her, for the LORD to change her life, to restore her for HIS good will and HIS purpose. Her and everyone else out there... in the valley of the broken hearts, those dry bones in such need of life, for where others see litter and brokenness, I see potential for an army of holy hearts. Like dead men and women just waiting for HIM to come and bring life to them. After all, my GOD raises the dead.... and I know, because that is what HE did with me.
But to believe and receive is always going to be in HIS timing. After all, how can two walk together unless they be agreed (Amos 3:3) and you cannot agree with one you have not yet known or met. For all is by divine appointment, our breath of life is always in HIS Hands.
I pray that no matter how she passed that she had time to know HIM. I pray that her soul left in peace. We can seldom know what happens between GOD and a man/woman before they lose that last breath. And if the Gospel could save the criminal on the cross, there must be many who are with HIM that we would never think are there.
I am putting out prayer requests for Ginger's children. Someday they will wonder what happened, someday they will seek to know. I pray that wherever life has led them, that they too find the LOVE of GOD that mends them whole.