No matter how I think I connect or want to understand their life I can’t. Not really. Not all of it. I don’t get life not being raised in a church. Not always, ALWAYS, having a bible and knowing how to look up a passage without the index.
I will never connect with having an addiction that destroys your life or holding a sign that says “homeless, please help”. I don’t understand what life is really like for a man whose life span is shorter just because of the color of his skin. I want to. But I can’t. So I am who I am. We are who we are. With them. In front of them.
New Year’s Eve at the Center included karaoke after the watchnight service. What a combo! As the karaoke was winding down (and it was a laugh riot) Henry stands up, takes the mic, looks at his phone where he’s looked up lyrics and starts singing. To me. Coming closer and closer. I think it was some cheesy Elvis song but I really don’t remember because I only felt my face getting hotter and kept giving him the “cut it” sign as he crept closer and grinned bigger. I was one of two women in a room full of men. The place erupted in applause and it was finally over.
He wasn’t doing that for the men. He was doing that because he knows how uncomfortable it makes me, to have him show his affection like that. He likes making me squirm. Seeing my face redden and me not being able to hide. Anywhere. He was just being him. My husband. The man who has loved me for what seems like forever and, somehow, loves me more.
It was the following week in a staff meeting when I find out quite a few of the men had gone to the intake counselor to tell her about it and how much they loved it. They loved seeing me squirm, first of all, but mostly, seeing love. This surprised me. A lot. That they would think anything other than how funny it was to see “Mrs. Major” get all red and wriggle in her seat the closer “the Major” got.
There’s so much I’ll never get about their lives. Maybe that’s the point. The point of grace for one. Grace that allows us to be us and allows them to be who they are…..struggling, imperfect, broken, searching, loving, celebrating. All of us together. Sharing grace. Sharing love. Sharing God.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.