I went with a bunch of women from our church to a kind of halfway house for young women.
I felt a little nervous, wondering how the teen girls would respond. Would they be suspicious of our motives? Would they see us as fakes, or suburban moms who can’t relate to their individual urban struggles for security, love, food, shelter?
The building is in down-town Denver, squirreled away between two run-down looking buildings. Inside, the roof was leaking and a coupe of men were trying to address the problem, as well as get together a meal for the men’s part of the house.
We ladies went down into the basement where a sort-of kitchen adjoined a meeting room and a small nursery with glass walls. At first glance, it all seemed so dark and depressing. I imagined how I would feel if my daughter were hanging out in this place. My heart ached.
But then I noticed that some artistic person had painted Bible verses on the walls in bright colors. Like flowers on a table, the bright words lit up the gloomy walls.
We brought three different types of yummy chili, cornbread, salads, fresh fruit, juices, even bits of candy.
The girls were surprisingly easy to talk to. One of them brought her toddler. Two other women are expecting soon. All of them seemed glued to their cell phones, even during the meal part of the meeting.
I talked to the young mom who’d brought her little girl. Turns out, she has recently come to faith in the Lord and is venturing into the world of writing. I asked her what she was writing and she said she writes poetry about her faith.
Her faith is young, but she has become a kind of anchor at the house, and a testimony of how the Lord brings healing and hope. Like a brilliant colored flower against a dark back drop;
She lights up the gloomy place and reminds me that in the darkest places, God’s Spirit also resides.
I’m looking forward to going back there in a couple of weeks. I have so much to learn. And these are just the young women to teach me!