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“i broke it to pieces”

August 5, 2010

Every few months, I write short stories for my church. They send me a name and a phone number and from there, I get the chance to meet and talk with people from all over our community whose lives and stories speak to resurrection, redemption and this ferocious, wild Love that changes everything.

It’s pretty friggin’ cool, to say the least.

This past month, I met with a gentleman from our community whose story blew me away. From my little suburbia pod of comfort and security, meeting a man who has been a crack addict, homeless and abused was a whole new experience. While I’m not proud to admit this, coming to realize that he was just as decent and human as anyone else I’ve met was an equally new experience.

I am someone who constantly speaks to the humanity and dignity of everyone, regardless of who they are, but it still doesn’t stop me from crossing the street or averting my eyes when I see someone who makes me nervous. Growing up in a world that values safety and boundaries, I still tend to connect words like “addict,” “homeless” and “man” with words like “rapist,” “dangerous,” and “bad” (despite the fact I try not to).

Well, I stand corrected and rebuked. This man’s story and the time he spent with me changed something in me. He was so kind and willing to share, so thrilled that I was there, talking to him, looking him in the eye, taking an interest in who he is. It was two of the most beautiful hours I’ve ever spent.

Because here’s the thing, dear friends: in certain ways, I think I was the one who needed to become more human.

You can read the story, “I Broke It to Pieces” here.

[photo credit here]

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