I got to witness something for the first time yesterday. It was pretty cool. We have had a family living at Hope Street for several months now. This particular family came to Hope Street on a referral from an agency, The Alma Center, who work primarily with men at-risk or currently involved in the criminal justice system. The Alma Center cares deeply about the families in which men will be returning to upon release from prison. When I first met mom, Aileen, her daughter, Ava, and son, Jeramy, Aileen shared that her fiance was currently incarcerated and would be released on Jan 8th. She was hoping that Hope Street would be a stable place for her family to live until he was released. We consider Aileen a “growing member” of our community. As time went on Aileen hoped that Joe would move into Hope Street after being released from prison. We went through the entire assessment and interview process and Joe moved into Hope Street yesterday.
Yesterday I was able to witness a fiance seeing, touching, and smiling at her fiance for the first time in person in 2 years. That was sweet. She wore a cute outfit and had on extra “smell goods” (perfume). She was excited and nervous. Yesterday I was also able to witness the first meeting between a daughter and her daddy. Aileen was pregnant with Ava when Joe “caught his case”. Joe has never met Ava. Ava has never met Joe. Joe knows Ava’s voice. Ava knows Joe’s voice. Ava let her daddy hold her. She proudly toured her daddy around Hope Street...strutting her 2 year old self around the building as if she owned it all. She welcomed him home. She showed him her room. She showed him love.
Thank you for the magnitude of your grace. Thank you for homecomings. Thank you for being our Daddy, for hearing and knowing our voices. Thank you for loving us, your own, who are in the world. There is a long road ahead of this sweet family as they all become “one” again. The wounds of before have not healed because time has past, but I pray that Hope Street will be the place, once again, where transformation, reconciliation, and homecoming will begin in all their lives in your mighty name.