Today I met a woman who is kind as a profession. I mean she is in the business of showing kindness to people who need it most. Here is how it happened...
The other day, when I was offending the pretzel makers and awkwardly explaining my mission for this month, one lady mentioned that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So that has been on my radar for the past couple of days, hence Day Six's project.
I filled a large mason jar with small pieces of paper folded up, each paper holding a simple, but truthful message. I felt like most battered women are likely to have a disconnect somewhere that doesn't allow them to hear and receive truth... that or they don't have anyone who is even trying to get the truth into them.
So, I thought I would try. I brought my jar-o-truth to a transitional home for battered women and children and asked if the jar could sit out for women to take a truth when they first arrive at the shelter. Wanda looked at me like I was a crazy fool.
Yes, Wanda. She is my new bff. (sorry to any previous bff's... but I like Wanda better.)
Wanda works at the transitional shelter and she primarily runs the children's activities. Wanda and I got to talkin' - you know how bffs do - and she asked me why I was doing this 31 days thing. I knew I could trust her (b to the f, 4-eva) so I briefly explained all my baggage and how I wanted to spend this month doing something positive and life-giving, something that would honor my brother's memory and represent the God he and I both love.
Well, can I just tell you that Miss Wanda listened to every single word I said like it really mattered to her. Then she hauled out her own baggage, carefully unpacking her story of how her brother was murdered 14 years ago. When she said how long it had been since he had passed, she almost seemed embarrassed... Like it shouldn't bother her so much any more. She said "but it really doesn't seem like it has been that long."
I know what she means. But I also know that no matter how much time passes, that person that you loved and lost, and that person's story does not just sit on a shelf with an expiration date. The person, the story, the wound... It can stay so fresh on your heart for a lifetime.
Wanda and I dipped in to our own jar of truth today. We affirmed each other's journey to healing old wounds that still feel fresh some days, no matter how much time passes. We talked about our faith and how we both sneak it into all the corners of our life... even when we are told we aren't allowed.
It's only been six days. I am exhausted, and I have a lot of days to go, but I already feel my own disconnect from the truth starting to reconnect a little. I am not a battered woman in the traditional sense, but life has certainly gotten in a decent jab or two. I can understand how the disconnect happens. I can see how life and people can knock you down and tell you there is no hope, and maybe even steal your lunch money. I have believed my fair share of lies, and taken a few too many hits, so I understand the disconnect between what is true, and what you end up believing. I enjoyed Day Six, because it gave me an opportunity to speak truth to sad and broken women, and it just so happens they were truths that I needed to hear.