11 May 2011


I stood, and focused all of my attention on Cassandra. I tried to soak in the volume of her joy, every animated detail of her face as she spoke to me, and her Jesus. I wanted to memorize the moment, to really remember the fullness of human change and movement.

I wanted to remember the words she chose to describe the last few years of her life. She talked about the "chains" of her years of streetlife, the "heavy" boredom of days upon days in the same doorway, the "itch" for another high. She let her 5 ft frame (and 1 ft weave) rise and fall in her recollection, and her her arms wind through her reminiscence. Her eyes widened, her scarlet-red shirt and her shirt-red lipstick portrayed and punctuated her elation.

But it was simple. And most of her explanation was a prayer. She was not speaking to me, but allowing me to eavesdrop on her praise. Because she had her own apartment, and she could sit and soak in her own tub, and even though most of the rooms were empty, her boundless presence filled them for now, and filled them well.

I can't capture all of Cassandra in this moment the way I would like to, and I'm thinking about this as she speaks. I think about the privalege it is to stand so close to the joy of someone else, and to invite it in.  I write this blog to pass on what I'm given, but I'm afraid that today, my words are not sufficient.

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