A big part of what we try to explain to people who have never experienced the mission is that the greatest gift you get from being there is learning more about who you are through the lessons our friends who call the mission home teach us.
Sandi is just one of them. She is one of my greatest teachers of compassion and seeing through the lens that God wants us to – our hearts. She is not a teacher or pastor, but she really could write a great sermon if given the chance. She is a daughter, mother, sister, friend, crack addict and sex worker. I love her, but some days it’s hard. She will look out for the most vulnerable in the neighbourhood, children, elderly, street girls, anyone with disabilities and animals. Her addiction can also make her into someone who doesn’t care who gets in her way of the next high, no matter who it is. I love her but some days it’s hard.
Her visits to HHSM are for one of two reasons: getting clothes for some of those previously mentioned, or way too many for herself. She is full of wisdom about how we should care for one another, and full of venom for the way the world has treated her. She gives no excuse for her behaviour “calling it like it is” and is constantly reminded by volunteers that she is Gods child a princess in His kingdom. A title she has a hard time accepting although I have heard her repeat that to a young girl in the neighbourhood. You see Sandi understands the truth about God and what He wants for her life, but she sees this as something for others whose sins perhaps aren’t as big as hers. She’s a lot like many of us who say we understand the truth and tell others, but have a hard time living it out for ourselves. Sandi helps me to see that I can give my brokenness to God and he will set me free from all of my sins and addictions to live in his truth. The more I know my friend Sandi, the more I learn about myself, and the hidden brokenness that no one else can see. She teaches me to love myself by showing me what it looks like to others when I don’t.
God loves me but I know some days that must be harder than others.
Come down to HHSM and sit for a coffee, see our family and become apart of it. If you let it the experience will break you in some beautiful ways.