When I first met Shirley she was a client at the homeless shelter where I worked. A first nation’s woman who was adopted into a non-native family as an infant, she once told me she didn’t know where she fit in. Recently she wrote in an email to me, White God… or Native… what ever… Louise I am not of either… I am a child of God.. .and you can believe what you want… all I know is God is Love…. .all I know is and feel is love… and for me that is reading loving things, but so often I put that down as I don’t quite accept it…It has nothing to do with White, Native… all I know in my heart is there is a God…. Louise I have talked with those brothers on the street.. we have come to a conclusion…we are of God…you know why…it’s because God spends extra time with us…That Homeless man or women don’t you think they prayed… and felt and seen God…it’s more an inner feeling…I have always had this spirit in me…. I get so messed up…I am not Native nor white…but I do LOVE GOD… and you can’t take that from me…… sometimes that is all I had.. .yes when I walked the walk God was there.
Shirley is a gifted writer, story-teller, artist. She carries other labels too — recovering addict, formerly homeless. No matter the label, Shirley carries it in her very real, very human way. With dignity. Grace. Beauty. She laughs, jokes (she has a wicked sense of humour) And, she struggles. Just like you and me. Struggling in our human condition. We all have gifts. We struggle to find ourselves, express ourselves, be the selves we know, deep within our souls, we are born to be. We struggle to let go of self-defeating behaviours. To drop burdens and sorrows and tears. We struggle and in our struggle we sometimes fall. And in our falls, we discover the depth of our strength and courage.
I am grateful for Shirley’s light on my path.
Here’s a story on making a difference from Shirley which she has given me permission to share here. Thank you Shirley
What If God Was One of Us?
By Shirley A.
Yesterday went to eat at McDonalds…While eating a group of Natives which I know you would know came in and ordered a meal for the 4 of them. Something in my heart was tugging me telling me I was to buy them each a hamburger…..I thought I needed this money in case…but the tugging became stronger….It told me to buy them each a burger….
I thought then with what little they had was what they were to share….amongst themselves…I knew I had to do what my heart was telling me….so I bought 4 burgers…even with the thought of I don’t have enough money for me…….I walked up to them with burgers in hand and gave them the burgers….
You know….those smiles and thankfulness in their eyes does bring tears to one’s eyes…..but better yet I did what my heart told me to do….as hard as it was to let go of my own wants and worries of money. Then I headed off to work……I work in a warehouse…so I had my backpack and hood on…..A man approached me and said to me….”could I offer to buy you a meal” I said no thanks…
He said I looked like I needed a little uplifting…..He then asked if he could say a prayer for me….I said Yes…..His prayer was short and simple and of no attention grabber to the rest of the world.
You know I think God was tugging at my heart and then made it known to me through a prayer from a stranger….
So yes kind of out there as a homeless person….once again reminding me… miracles happen….God does hang also with the homeless out there….So my time as a homeless person has not been in vain…..but I now am able to see it clearer now…
At work I felt so alive, awake…and yes, able to breathe….which I haven’t felt for a very long time in my life…I am telling you this because those miracles happened on a daily basis as a homeless person.
I was reminded of what homelessness can be of….The sharing of what little one has….and that, one is taken care of….and that God does love each one of those out there…and He does hold them close……
The smallest miracle turns into a pure feeling of ………….within the heart…reminds me of the song…”What if God was one of us?” by ? Osborne…..makes one think…