A True Gem

Blessed is the man who bares his sin to a room full of sinners.

He has cast his shame aside.

Look into his eyes. Alight with hope and shadowed by a haunted past.

What have those eyes seen?

Failure. Fear. Mistrust. Hunger. Shame. Courage. Addiction. God. Loneliness. Heartbreak. Peace.

He, the one who has truly faced barriers, hopelessness, and insurmountable pain, is the one to greet me with a prayer of gratitude for the day, the time spent with me, and the here and now.


Humble is the woman who displays her faith in her desperate attempt to cope with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

She meets my eyes with warmth, smiles, and says, “I don’t hear the outside voices anymore. I prayed that God would put a cover over my ears. And he did.”

Her laugh, jolly and consuming, was never far from rolling off of her lips.

She, who has no home to sleep in tonight, found a way to laugh and share moments of connection with a group of priveleged strangers who share nothing with her but hot, coursing blood and a beating heart.


Gracious is the woman who allowed me to give her a manicure. Timidly offering me her hand, I could not help but wonder how thise hands have been hurt.

The unsteady strokes of pink and green done by my nervous hands were revered as something of beauty.

With a hand held towards the light, she smiles a small, toothless grin and whispers, “it’s so pretty”.

Before she left she told me that she was hungry. That she did not qualify to live at the shelter. That she had no where to sleep tonight.

I walked out of the shelter with a piece of her forever engraved in my mind.

She left with the tenuous memory of me represented by the nail polish adorning her fingers.


Priceless is the purity that lies in the heart of a child.

A troubled home life lurks around their small shoulders, but for that one moment all they want, all they need is you to play a board game with them.

Toothless smiles. Shrill giggles. Hugs. The wordless feeling of their wanting to just be next to you.

On the outside, they innocent, naive, abd pure. On the inside they have buried sensing incomprehensible brutalities.

I can still feel their little fingers wrapped around my hand, pulling me towards their desk to help them with their homework.

Writing their capital letters neatly is a new lesson. Troubles in life is a constant and well-known lesson.


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