Jamarra or “J” has lived at Hope Street with her 3 sweet boys for a couple of years now. She’s quiet and reserved, but determined and sincere. She came to us after battling homelessness and since that point has put the work in to provide a home for her family through working and putting herself back through school. I have seen her weep, and I have seen her rejoice over good news. She has had setback after setback but in the midst of it all clung to her faith in Jesus. I admire her.
Recently she has taken on the role of cleaning the building at Hope Street. As she does she often pops her head in to say “hi”. Yesterday she shared the following story with me (paraphrased):
Ms. Ashley I was out doing my couponing and getting ready to go through the checkout line. I was drawn to one clerk in particular because she reminded me of you, but a younger version - not that I think you are old. As I was finishing up I felt like I was supposed to give her some of the items from my cart. So I put some stuff aside and handed it to her. She wept. She looked at me and said, “her and her two boys had been homeless now for nearly 30 days.” I looked at her and said, “what else can I get you?” I went back into the store, got some pajamas for the kids, some more toiletry items and pampers. When I came back to give them to her - she said, “you don’t have to do this.” My response, “yes I do. The place where I live met my family in our place of need, I have everything I need and I don’t want you to feel alone.”
As Jamarra turned to leave she felt like it would be beneficial to exchange numbers so she could check in. She asked the young lady what her name was...Ashley.
I cried as J told me this story. How she facilitated between sorrow and deep joy and peace. As she spoke as someone who is content and grateful even though her situation is still not what she wants it to be. It was in that moment that I was blessed by “success” at Hope Street. Success that shows how when we are deeply rooted and connected to the Vine (Christ) we can be aware of the needs around us and meet them. We can live inside a mentality of plenty instead of holding on for “what if”. I told Jamarra I am so proud of who she is. Being a member at Hope Street is just as much about being a good community member too. Grateful.
Father, may we be still enough in this season to follow your promptings. To see people we may normally overlook. To be grateful and live content. Lord, please continue to bless J as she seeks to be a blessing to those around her. Thank you that you went out of your way to meet us in our place of need. We love you.