My heart is full today, it is more special than most, because of the people I have sat, talked, and shared life with.
The wonder of honesty and transparency, even in hard times, never leaves me. I am left wondering 'is this how Jesus felt' when I have had the privilege of listening to words and hearts, stories the world will never hear, and praising God for the resilience of these precious ones He created.
No wonder He hung out with those that the rest of society would look down on. In the place where there is no energy for anything but getting through today, in the place where people say it like it is and are without all the trappings that build barriers between us in 'polite society', there is a richness of relationship to be found.
I am humbled by the trust, convicted by the words, broken by the pain and cruelty some encounter, and made a better person just because I have had this wonderful opportunity.
When He called me to work in the wider 'community' I had no place to start and no idea how or what to do. But the One who calls us knows, and He is the One who opens doors, presents opportunities that don't even look like opportunities at the time. All we have to do is follow Him, right outside the walls, out of the comfort zone, into places we have feared and need to learn to trust Him with.
How amazing it is to find ourselves truly a work in progress, and to walk alongside others in whom the same work is taking place. We become filled with light and with life, our tears flow easily, and the laughter is genuine joy.
How grateful I am for this opportunity to live my life out of the One who created and understands all life. It is a constant humbling privilege to watch as He touches a heart, lifts a head, sows hope afresh.
How blessed I am in this place that I, and others, do not truly understand. Living outside the walls of the establishment, and yet finding myself immersed in all that is real and at times challenging, and, best of all, finding that He lives here too - smiling on us, pouring out His unfathomable love and strength, pursuing the one, always the one ... that He loves.