By Sylvia Broome, Central ATL Community Facilitator
She sat on a wall in a park in downtown Atlanta crying, sweating and in pain. She said her back hurt. I offered Advil, to call an ambulance or to take her to the hospital.
She refused and did not speak much. She showed me where her back was hurting and I saw a small spot, the size of a dime. It did not look like much. I told her that I would be back in the morning and I’d help her if she wanted.
She was dead two days later because of a spider bite. She had been sleeping in the park. I did not know her name. I never will.
A woman that no one knew. Maybe she was someone’s daughter or perhaps someone’s mother?
I wonder why she refused help? Maybe she’d been turned away from hospitals before? Maybe she was embarrassed at her dirty, ill fitting clothes, her matted hair or her scarred skin? Maybe she didn’t trust or maybe she was afraid?
I want to tell her I’m sorry. I want to tell her I should have done more. I want to tell her that even if the world sees her only by her outward appearance, God sees her as His beautiful daughter.
If I had a chance, I’d tell her that. But a spider took her before I could.
This is why I believe welcoming women like this into community around Christ is so important. It’s for this reason that in the context of building community with the vulnerable we are able to affirm their dignity, value and worth as a beautiful daughter of God. So many of the woman in our community fall prey to sex trafficking because they are longing for community and a sense of belonging.
They are looking for love from God manifested through intentional Christian community and they don’t find it.
I gather with woman just like this every day throughout the week and would love to host you as a guest so I can connect you to beautiful daughters of God like this woman.