outside of the ugly, broken & lost

She has the most penetrating eyes.

Pretty, dark eyelashes with a sweet smile.

The rest of her is hard to take in.

Matted hair. A dirty face.

And, a distant, lost look mixed in with the grime.

The first time I ever saw her I had a true encounter with the Holy Spirit.

She and her ‘boyfriend‘ I assume were asking for help on the curb as I drove by.

I could not keep driving.

Something pulled me with no thought or fear over to park.

It was late and dark, but for whatever reason my normally cautious self didn’t seem to care.

As I parked and looked back over at them, I realized there was another man walking over to speak to them with a box of food. I felt a bit better.

I stuffed money in my pants pocket promising myself silently that if they appeared to not need this cash, I would keep it.

As I walked over I think I remember praying. Asking God to guide me to help her in some way. She looked so lost my heart ached.

As I got closer, I could see all of her.

The brokenness. The slavery. The desperation. The defeat. The hurt. The guilt. Yes, the baggage that weighed her down.

Her past, her present and her future all rolled into one.

As she told me her name I was overcome with the need to simply pray for her. The money would wait.

Let me first say, I have never done anything like this before.

It just happened.

Not by my power, but by that of the Holy Spirit.

Every word I spoke, which I don’t even remember, came from a voice not my own.

It even sounded foreign to me. Yet, still I prayed.

And, since that night, I have prayed for her over and over again.

God has allowed me the opportunity to see her on several occasions. It has been a great reminder to pray, but on the other hand it also breaks my heart.

I don’t know how to help her, yet I can’t get her off my mind. Once, as I passed by the same spot, I wept over her needs and my inadequacies.

The only reason I even feel compelled to share is that maybe, just maybe, someone reading this can relate.

Perhaps, you like me have looked at ‘those people‘ on the roadside or in the street like I have, and wondered where they came from and what they need and how to help.

Trust me, I have kept driving dozens of times with their faces haunting my heart.

I really believe ‘those people’, just like her are the only reason we are here. 

To seek and save the lost. To rescue the perishing and care for the dying.

If we believe that, then surely we understand how urgent our time here really is?

In my heart, I know she is perishing in so many earthly ways.

People like her are who Jesus sought out.

And, yes, came to save.

People like her need people like you and me.

She is someone’s child.

She could be someone’s mother.

She was once someone very different I am sure.  Because we all know that no one sets out in life to wind up with nowhere to go and no one to really care. 

And, under all that dirt and despite all that hopelessness, she is still a daughter of the King.

And, He cares.

Enough to bring me to that very place and to continue to put her in my path to remind me.

Others I know who have met her and are praying for her as well.

Isn’t that just beautiful?

Outside of the ugly and broken and lost stands a God who will move heaven and earth for those He loves.

Even her, the one on the curb late at night who seems to have lost her way.  

And, sometimes all you can do for someone in the moment is pray.

Isn’t that the beginning of all they really need?

I trust God to provide all the rest.

He is faithful. 

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