From one woman to another, a beautiful encounter
I had a beautiful encounter with a 15-year young girl on Sunday in Church.
She and her 14-year-old sister are on a temporary foster placement with out worship leader’s family. She is of Jamaican heritage and the chaos of brokenness was visible in her sad eyes and her wig, clearly once beautiful, was now uncombed and tatty-looking, but for her it was a much-needed hiding place.
We chatted and like any young girl, who looks at an older woman, she meticulously checked me out from head to toe. Her first question was, “Are those your real eyelashes?”
Ha ha! “I said of course not!! But I do love false eyelashes”
To which she replied, “So do I”
I gave her a huge hug, but her hands hung limply behind me.
I said, “ I do real hugs, put your arms around me and give me a big hug”
It took me back to my first days in Christ, where I was so broken, I would not let anybody beyond the six foot perimeter I’d created around my heart and when a hug was daunting because it found the place of my vulnerability.
I hugged her again and said, “God loves you.”
To which she replied, “I am an atheist and I don’t believe in God”
I said, “That’s ok, you might not believe in Him, but He believes in you.”
She looked at me with a face that said, “What has your God done for me, if He was God, my sister and I would be living different lives?”
I let a moment pass and chatted joyfully to her foster father. We talked about the natural beauty of her face and how she looked simply stunning, even without one scrap of makeup. I knew she was listening and that I was hitting the walls of her self-disdaining heart and feelings of worthlessness.
It’s going to be okay. You have a wonderful future ahead. You’re going to grow into an incredible woman and leave all that pain behind you.”
When the time to leave came, I could see she was strangely drawn to me, but was angry at even the thought of Christians trying to band-aid the brokenness of her life. It was in this moment, that our eyes met and I had the opportunity to speak to her from my heart to hers.
“I want to speak to you as one human being to another. To the place of your humanity. Not as a Christian, who is trying to convert you to God, but as one human being, who understands how painful a journey can be, to another human being who is in a painful journey.
“I want to talk to your humanity and tell you something that is the truth. It’s all going to be okay. You have a wonderful future. You are going to grow into an incredible woman and you are going to leave behind you, the pain that has been such a part of your life.”
It wasn’t spiritual in context, it was simply one human heart to another. Her eyes filled with tears, her lip quivered, her hard shell fell for just a moment. She leaned forward, put her arms around me in a big body hug and then with a broken young voice, she whispered into my ear, “Thank you.”
Our eyes met again, both were filled with tears and we said goodbye. It was a beautiful encounter and my heart rejoices in the tenderness of Real Jesus, real people, real life.
Let God’s love reach through
I feel in my heart to say this to you. Jesus cares about your humanity and His desire for you is that your humanity will be the place where His ministry to you personally, will bring His greatest love, joy, peace, fulfillment, rest and life.
To you, not just through you, meaning Jesus’ love coming directly to your own heart personally in the area where your humanity needs Him the most. Arms that carry much, need hands that are even stronger, to uphold them in every season of their lives.
Jesus wants His love for you personally to reach through you far beyond all that you could ever do for Him and become the source of your greatest joy. In this way, He will give you one beautiful encounter after another.
This article was written by Jeanet Elisa of Chosen Ministries. Jeanet is a visionary, teacher, missionary and mother. She worked on staff at Kensington Temple, London and has served as a missionary in Malaysia, Borneo and Nepal.