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Healing from Hooker Hill… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on September 5, 2020 by paulthepoke

Hopelessness, helplessness, and victimization can’t be narrowly defined, as proven by this conversation between two ultimately courageous human beings… These conditions exist across the broad spectrum of humanity, and there is only one place to find peace: from the Prince of Peace. —Mike Low (in response to the social media blurb I wrote about the following experience)

Only our God could have facilitated such an encounter. I think of these moments not only as winks from God, but as confirmation that folks are being reached from both sides. If I had not walked the path that I did, God could not have used me in the way that He has.

I spoke at a statewide summit on recovery practices held at a university. Among the other speakers were some people who were well–respected in my state and nationally. After I spoke, I was moved by the extended standing ovation from the audience. Even today, after having been honored with a number of them, such an ovation causes me to tremble in my soul. It is an extremely humbling and tremendous honor, moving me beyond words.

Soon after leaving the stage, I was approached by a woman. She informed me that she was not a professional but had her own reasons for attending the conference—reasons which she did not, at that moment, disclose. She asked me questions about the years I worked the streets in Kansas City, Missouri. She had seen photos of my mug shots. She shared that she lived halfway down the block of Independence Avenue and Spruce, a corner I had been known for working.

She said she and her son had lived there for a number of years. She described how the traffic from the working women kept her son up many nights. I said I was sorry for that experience for her and her family and her son. I validated her feelings.

She relayed that she hadn’t felt safe there. She went on to talk about the men picking up women, the women fighting with their pimps, the police stings, the beatings from the pimps, the numerous scenes she and her son had witnessed in their day–to–day life. Our trauma had become their demons.

As she spoke, she touched my hands. I rested my other hand on top of hers as she continued to speak. She remembered me very well. She remembered driving past me as she went home; she also remembered seeing me on the corner when her son would be getting off the school bus. She recalled watching me lose weight. She remembered the disruption in their home due to the women working that place we called Hooker Hill.

Then she paused, and I heard her sniffle. She gripped my hand and asked me for a hug. She confessed that she never saw past the prostitutes on that corner back then. She hadn’t understood their lives. While listening to my story and my words and watching the impact it had on the professionals who worked with criminals, she watched the crowd engage with every word. She said she saw hope in their eyes.

She thanked me for showing her that change and hope are possible among a population she had previously viewed as hopeless. She was glad I had survived and made it to the other side. She said she was honored to have met me.

We were each validated that day, but for different reasons. The conversation gave us both a chance to heal. Although I don’t remember her from my days on the streets, I do remember the school bus turning the corner. We would step back from the walkway as children would run past us, staring or calling us names or pointing at us.

There was a clear separation between us and the individuals who lived on the very streets where we had existed for years. Never once did we speak to them, nor they to us. Yet we were an everyday part of one another’s lives.

That day in that crowded university, a small chip of wholeness was restored, I believe, for the both of us. Only God’s divine direction could have facilitated such an encounter. Here we both were, so many years after I had worked that corner. It is almost unimaginable that we would encounter each other, miles away from Kansas City, in the most unexpected of places.

I believe that restoration takes on many facets. Wholeness comes in large pieces and small chips. Each one is equally valuable and necessary. That day I felt a connection to a stranger whom I had lived close to for the eight years she and her little boy lived in that house on Hooker Hill. One more little chip of healing took place.

Never underestimate the value of one small act, one simple glance, or one brief conversation. When God prompts your heart to reach out and touch another, do it. In responding, you might be part of the healing in someone
else’s life—not to mention your own.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Wait on God… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , on May 5, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 123:1-4

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

@beholy404

It is wise indeed to seek help when under threat or faced with challenging circumstances. The problem is that it is equally in the nature and character of man to exhaust all his physical options before turning to God as a last resort. But the Lord ought to be our first port of call when we need help. That is the pertinent message conveyed here by the psalmist who was evidently confronted with daunting circumstances.

And he realized early enough that enduring solutions lie nowhere else than in the Lord. He likened himself to a servant expecting deliverance from his master and to a maiden seeking succor from her mistress. Also, he indicated no intention of turning elsewhere until God intervenes in his dire situation. He pleaded passionately with the Lord to have mercy on him and his people who were now pressed hard by enemies. Obviously, the enemies were very confident they would overwhelm the psalmist and his people. Hence, they exceedingly scorned them.

You may be despised by those who think they have the power to determine your fate in life. They may even reproach you for trusting in the Lord to help you. They may frighten and attempt to weaken your faith by boasting of their previous accomplishments in dealing harshly with their enemies. But your only recourse should be to turn to the Lord in prayer.

First, ensure like the psalmist, that the Lord is indeed your God by turning away from all your sins. Then, you must pray to Him to have mercy and save you from all your troubles. If you depend on God, He will sooner than later, rebuke the proud and boastful enemies and grant you victory. All you need to do is to wait on God, He will not abandon you.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Wait, I say, on the Lord.”

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: ACTS 13 – 14

Our Daily Bread, Patience… Paul Beverly

Posted in Paul Beverly with tags , , , , on October 21, 2018 by paulthepoke

Everyone will go through struggles in life, it’s just a fact. Nobody is immune to it. With faith & patience, everything always works out just as it’s supposed to. God has a way of bringing us out of these dark times when we trust Him. So focus on the good & wait for the great!

corks-bobbers-floats-teaser

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Have a faithful & patient week my friends!!!

Straight Talk…Applied Kindness, Rodna Epley

Posted in Rodna Epley with tags , , , , on June 13, 2017 by paulthepoke

Rodna

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

A real application of NOT loving our enemy is: to lash out when we are wronged, defend yourself, yell, or be aggressive in some way. Then go talk about it to people and justify our innocence and their guilt. Speaking trash to the hearer causes more hate to spread.

A real application of loving our enemy would be to let them do or say whatever, then immediately give them a response they do not expect, such as “I can see how you might feel that way, and I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. Sometimes I’m terrible with communication but let me try again please.”

Then we should almost always use OURSELVES as the example in the situation: of where we have been weak and how God made us stronger. This will allow that person to let down their guard and their anger will dissipate. It disarms them. They may not admit to guilt right away or ever. But they will think about it later and not feel judged. Possibly it opens up their hearts to a loving God who isn’t trying to judge them.

Defending ourselves and trying to prove ourselves right or justify our actions is a defense mechanism that we all struggle with. But choosing to do good and be kind in response to an assassination on our character will disallow the root of bitterness and anger to take hold.

Isaiah 8:17-18 Eagerly and Patiently Wait…

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , on May 6, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him. 

The word for wait in the Hebrew is chakah. Per Strong’s Concordance it means to wait, tarry, or long for. The grammar indicates to intensively or intentionally wait. The idea is to be eager and patiently wait. Be ready to act. When the time comes, it is go time. An example of this word is noted in Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.

The same concept is emphasized a second time in the verse with the word Hebrew qavah. It is translated “look eagerly”. It means to wait or look eagerly for, to lie in wait for, or linger for. The verb has the same idea of intensity. Isaiah is intensely patient and looking intently for the Lord. Another example of this word is in Genesis 49:18 “For Your salvation I wait, O LORD.” 

Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

This verse is a reminder to the people of Israel. What do our names mean? This is in reference to the meaning of Isaiah (meaning Jehovah has saved) and his two sons, Shear-jashub (meaning the remnant shall return, Isaiah 7:3) and Maher-shalal-hash-baz (meaning speed the spoil, hasten the prey). One last reminder, the Lord dwells in Jerusalem.

Easier said than done…

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