the women's "store" we set up today...still from clothes my friend Sadie collected
I've seen David several times before. He has these beautiful, sea green eyes that are hard to miss. For the first time today, we talked.
I'm not sure what my perception was before, but I didn't expect him to be so friendly. He told me immediately that he had mental health issues and was having a particularly difficult time because of staffing changes at the shelter. His former therapists had left, and the new ones lacked compassion.
I've been learning that compassion is something formidable. It's not merely feeling for someone but in its identification with them, it has the power to heal.
Then David continued, "I've been on the Dallas Housing Authority's list for a place to live since October. I was supposed to be at the top of the list, but I went by the other day and I was still number 12. For some reason I haven't gotten a place to stay yet."
I asked him for his name so I could pray for him. As soon as I told him what I would pray for him, he told me what he prays for himself. He said, "I pray, Heavenly Father, your will be done in my life." And then he explained it this way, how he understands what that means, that "God's will should precede my will."
I was reminded of Jesus, when he first prayed the Lord's Prayer (or the "Our Father," as my Catholic friends say), said, "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases...for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
I was convicted. Sometimes, oftentimes, I heap up empty words. David, on the other hand, prayed like Jesus, who simplified it when he said, "Pray then like this:
Our Father (intimacy) in heaven (majesty)
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day* our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil."
* Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.