Wednesday, September 3, 2008

lady in the van

I am enjoying my x365 project. It's given me a chance to reflect on people who I haven't thought about in a long time or ones that mean a lot to me. It gives me the challenge of writing concisely in describing the person or our relationship. But I have found that sometimes 48 words just isn't enough for some people or situations. Here is once such person.

Today's post is Lady in the Van. I don't know her name. I only know a little bit about her, yet she has had a profound impact on me.

I know that she was raped many years ago. She walked into my church at some point after it happened, wanting to talk to someone (probably the Pastor). She ended up talking to another staff member. I casually asked this staff member about about her visit, not knowing anything about it. I was only told that she was recently raped. That's it.

This lady had a distinctive face. It ended up that I saw her at the grocery store some time later and noticed the van that she was driving. It is a very distinctive van - like one of a kind. And since that time, about 10 years ago, I have seen her so many times and in so many places around town, mostly in her van.

I see her so much that I can't help but ask why? I don't see other people at the same frequency as her; not nearly as often. So why do I see her all the time?

From the very beginning, I made a practice of saying a prayer for her whenever I saw her. I figured she would be having a hard time dealing with a rape and I would pray for everything from comfort to forgiveness (given to the rapist). But I've seen her so often, I started wondering if there was something else I should be doing. Why else would I be seeing her so often?

I've been faithful in my prayers for her. I don't know what else I can do. My prayers have changed over the years since I assume she has somewhat recovered from the rape. But I don't know anything else about her, so the prayers are pretty general. It's actually frustrating to not know why I see her so much and not know how to pray or not knowing if I should be doing something beyond praying.

When I come face to face with God, my first questions will be about this lady and why I've been connected to her in such a way. But I have a feeling He'll tell me it wasn't about the lady in the van, it was really about me and my service to Him.


MightyMom said...

very cool.

you might be neighbors.

Barb said...

I can not adequately express a mother's joy and pride when she reads of her daughter's deep and compassionate faith.

You definitely put a smile in my heart as you do God's.

Jamey said...

That's interesting that you keep seeing that same lady. There has to be a reason...that will be a good first question!

Mam said...

I'm making a guess that you've been chosen to pray for her. And that's all. Her salvation is His desire, and maybe there is no one else. I've often prayed for people out on the streets and I feel that God helped me to realize that, for many, I may be the only person who has ever prayed for them. Imagine!

Lori said...

Great post.
I agree with Jamey that is interesting that you keep seeing her all around town.
Awesome that you are praying for her.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me you are doing a mighty thing in her life, and in yours.

Knowing me I'd stop her and strike up a conversation. Don't know what I'd say but things like these keep me awake until I do something. Sometimes it is the prayer coverage, but since that has been going on for a while with you, who knows. Perhaps one day you will meet up in a place where a conversation would be the normal step. I'd love to hear "the rest of the story" if that ever happens.

Must say, the Lady in the van sure has a special event happening often and she doesn't even know it!