Miss Mary

Miss MaryMiss Mary was quite a character.

Andy and I were obliged to be some of the first guests in her brand new apartment, in Jackson, MS, that had been recently given to her.  Miss Mary was so proud of her new place she smacked my shoes right off the couch.  (No, I was NOT putting my shoes on the couch, I just had my shoe on my knee- but that was too close to her new furniture for Miss Mary.) Miss Mary will tell you like it is and then hug you.  I love her.

Miss Mary had been on the streets for over 2 years, sleeping in a space the size of a closet.  Some folks from a church in Jackson felt the Lord leading them to take her under their wing and disciple her, help her, etc.  This is a long term thing, not just housing her and getting her off the streets.  Miss Mary still needs a lot of lovin’.  If I remember correctly, she is 65 years old and still gets around like she is 30.  Her heart is sincere, hopeful, and still broken.  She still drinks pretty heavily.  She has a mouth on her like I’ve never heard before.  At least one of her sons is in jail.  Reconciliation is in order for her family.  And this is the stuff that takes long suffering, much patience, much prayer and much perseverance.  Getting her off the streets was just the first step to a long road ahead.

Miss Mary has had a rough life.  I don’t know all the details of her story but I know she could teach me a thing or two- she has already.  She desperately wants her life to be worth something in God’s eyes and she wants that for others also.  Even though she cusses people out it is because she wants them to see and find what she has found in our big God.  She has found the beginnings of forgiveness, understanding, salvation and the burning of the Holy Spirit.  And with discipleship, true friendship, and a roof over her head to encourage growth, asking questions, and sharpening, she will continue to blossom into the woman God has made her to be.

Like all of us, Miss Mary’s Life is a work in the making.  Some people start a little later than others, and there are people like me who were blessed to begin the Walk early.  I don’t really know what to make of all that.  But I do know none of us will never arrive until we see Jesus face to face.  I also know that without discipleship, friendship, counseling from friends who love God, a roof over my head and food to fill my tummy, I would not be where I am today.  Its not just a roof, its not just food, not just friends, or even pure salvation of the soul.  Finding Life involves the whole gammett, the whole person.  I pray that we can see this more clearly.

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