Meet Shelly

Shelly breeds color. From her different color tunics to her bright eyes, her aura is teeming with life, a life that is robust and purposeful despite the fact that she drifts from address to address each day.

I met Shelly a couple months ago during the latter part of the summer. She sat with her back straight against the fence, both hands resting gently on her lap, her body turned to the woman next to her. The soft lines of Shelly’s torso curved in as she bent over in the chair, laughing. And when she smiled, she showed her teeth – a neat line of champagne-colored headlights.

As I approached the two of them, conversation stopped. Shelly’s companion shifted in her chair before getting up and slowly walking away, her head down. But rather than rise from her seat, she lifted up her hand and invited me forward, motioning to her friend’s vacated seat.

Shelly and I connected within the first five minutes of our conversation. Words built upon sentences, which added up into paragraphs, which gave birth to dreams and history and story – the material, the textile of a human heart. Talking to Shelly that day, I learned about her family. Her passion for cooking and writing and photography. Every word she spoke pointed to the fact that she was independent and driven.

It’s hard for me to write this because Shelly isn’t just another drifting face I met on the street. I prayed that God would lead me to a woman to walk alongside with, to encourage and love and learn from. He gave me Shelly. Over the last few months she’s become a genuine friend. We’ve shared recipes and writing projects. Drank coffee together. She’s shared her excitement with me, but has also told me about times she’s been in danger, times that she’s been hurt.

With Shelly, it all feels too real.

Shelly is an answer to a prayer. Please be an answer to some of hers this week as you think about her:
1. Pray that Shelly might be a light in a dark place. That her faith in Christ might continue to grow and that she continues to tell other people about the Joy that is otherworldly.
2. Pray for her safety. She’s staying at a notoriously dangerous place right now and has been attacked several times.
3. Pray for reconciliation in her family, guidance and direction as to what her next steps need to be.


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January 2010
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