I had no idea what I would say to the woman as I exited the Max, but I tried to keep my eyes on her, trying to figure out someway I could naturally talk with her. I saw her approach one of the men on the corner asking for directions. He didn't seem to be helpful.
"What are you looking for?" I piped up. I don't know downtown Portland hardly at all direction wise. Smile.
"I don't know where that's at. I'm sorry." Wow, danae. That was successful. I'm pretty sarcastic with myself sometimes. Well, she walked off and because I didn't feel like I could follow her without seeming like a stalker, I tried to navigate my way to where I thought Janeen would be.
The day was eerie. The sky was covered in white cloud, making the city feel grey and only half-alive. I watched people going this way and that. There were couples together, holding hands, not looking into my eyes as I passed them but staring straight ahead. Everyone seemed to be going somewhere and nowhere at the same time.
And as I trekked the streets, trying to find the seal water fountains that Bethany and I been next to when we prayed for Janeen, a man, probably in his twenties, came up to me, wearing dark colored, worn clothing.
"Ma'am? Can you spare some change? I've talked with 40 people today and only got 50 cents. I'm trying to raise money for my girlfriend for her birthday to send her to California to see her kids. Please? Can you help me?"
And his story was good and sad, and I reached out my empty hand. "I'm sorry, I can't help you, but what's your name?"
"I'm danae. Nice to meet you, Wesley." And we shook hands.
And he walked right on past me in a daze. "It's for her birthday."
Oh Wesley. Jesus loves you. I wish I would have told you that. I don't know. Maybe you wouldn't have remembered it the next day. Maybe you were on drugs. I'm pretty naive when it comes to things like that sometimes. But Wesley? Jesus wants you to be His son, and I am praying for you, that He will send someone else to come find you and love you and point you to His cross. I'd really like to meet you in Heaven someday, friend. You are a person, sir, and so valuable in His sight. Please, Jesus, please take care of Wesley tonight.
James asked me for money too. He was an older man, and I did the same thing. Outstretched hand. Shook his hand. I wanted to show him that he is a person. He might be homeless. He's still a person.
Well, considering my talent in navigating myself in such a way that sends me in circles (aka my lack of navigational talent), I ended up passing a random side street and saw the same girl that I saw in the max headed toward a bus stop. Well, without planning out what I would say or what I'd do, I followed her. I figured that since God put her in my path again, maybe it was on purpose?
She set her duffle bag down and sat on it as she waited for her bus. And . . . well, . . . let's just say I wasn't super graceful, but I came up to her and tried talking with her. I don't remember the conversation perfectly, but I think it began something like this:
"So you found it!"
"Oh hey! Yes, I did!"
"What's your name?"
"Hey Raina! I'm danae. Nice to meet you!"
And we talked for awhile. I learned that Raina's twenty-two, that she's just traveling while she's young, her life in a duffle bag I guess. She's a Christian, went to church earlier that morning. She just has no place to call home. She was in foster care but ended up with no family, no home base. Heart breaks for this and the broken foster care system that leaves kids orphans. Her plan is to just travel for awhile, eventually finding a place to settle down. She was fairly upbeat and kind, though she seemed kinda ready to get on the bus when it came and put some distance in between herself and the crazy danae-girl that followed her from the max. :/ :) But there was something about her. I think we would have been good friends. She looked like someone who totally could have just walked off Warner Pacific's college campus. She was just a normal girl in her twenties. Without a home. And maybe she was fine with that, but my prayers go out for her tonight, that Jesus would protect her from the life of the streets. That He would be a safe place for her and that He'd lead her to a place of rest, no more wanderings. Lord? Please be her home, but is it okay to ask that You would send her somewhere, to a place she can call home and be surrounded by people who love you and who would love her? Please, God?
She boarded bus 14, and it sped away away. I was left alone, standing at an empty bus stop, wishing I could have given that girl my number or something, wishing I had a home I could invite her to come in and rest. She's in Jesus' hands now.
I turned back from where I had come, my eyes still open for that girl with the blood clot and the small brown pony-tail. Janeen . . .
To Be Continued. :)