Last week, a new friend and I went to Downtown Crossing to look for a woman he had seen daily begging. We brought her the food she asked for and we sat with her while she asked passerby to help, trying not to look like we knew her (might impact her chances to get more).
As we sat with Pam, she explained that she had neuropathy and lots of other ailments. I realized 45 minutes in that her legs were covered in dried blood and sores, and then she knocked over some of the milk we brought her, much to her own dismay, explaining that she can’t control all her movement because of her nerve problems. She uses crutches and wears a sign. She’d slept the night before in an ATM booth after looking everywhere for a place to go and finding zip.
Though we prayed with her and I called every single homeless shelter i could, no one could help. When we considered spending 40 dollars for a hostel for the night, we realized the bigger problem…the same thing was going to happen the next day, and the next, and the next. She wasn’t willing to go to the shelters when she needed to to get in, around 3 or 4 to wait and secure a bed…if she did that she wouldn’t be able to beg until 8 or 10 pm. She needed 120 dollars a day to buy her medication (painkillers). We ended up promising to keep looking for programs for her, but eventually left after praying she would be healed..she told us where she would always be and we prayed for her and took off.
The next day at morning prayer, as people left, I asked if some could stay and pray for Pam. I couldn’t help crying as we lifted her up to God, and I wondered why she hadn’t been healed. Then David (our pastor) gave us good advice…and said the more he works with Boston’s homeless, the more he realizes that it’s all about being close to God…the closer we are to God, the more we will be able to help people. The more we hear him, the more we will a.) go to the correct people who he wants to heal, and b.) be able to touch their lives with his spirit. If we do not have his spirit flowing through us though nearness with him and love in Him, we will have nothing to offer these people.
Dreamed about her last night–it was wild, since i never remember my dreams and i realized after i woke up (disoriented in my old bed in NY at home) that it was Pam who I just prayed for in my dream to receive the Holy Spirit. She was so happy.
Dad’s making breakfast and we’re waiting for others to wake up slowly, thankful for life, love, family and friends.