There once was a woman who’d never had a dream.
The ways of the world were just too loud, it would seem.
They told her, for true love, she’d have to give herself away.
She was beaten and abandoned when she wouldn’t do it for pay.
She got stepped on and walked over all the days of her life,
Her five babies crying only magnified the strife.
No parents remain and not a single thing in her name,
Mama Charity trudges on; every day seems the same.
Hope tells a new story about her tomorrow,
But it was so hard to hold on to amidst all that sorrow.
For two years I have come, and we’ve shared in the day-to-day,
Because it takes a long time to trust that Someone will stay.
Road trips and slumber parties, God said, “Be family, and don’t hold back.”
I didn’t come to pay a sympathy visit to the poor lady in the shack.
We started this year in the hospital’s children’s ward,
Even then, we insisted that she find something to look toward.
With a baby’s burns in her lap, still feeling the loss of the fire,
We asked Mama Charity to share with us her heart’s greatest desire.
A flicker stronger than a flame sparked for just a moment in her eyes,
She wondered if it was safe to dream past all those lies.
Maybe it was simply that there wasn’t anything left to lose,
What’s another scar or just one more bruise?
But she picked up her head, a piece of chalk and that board,
And in a hospital yard, she bared her cries to the Lord.
Her deepest longings spelled out, she asked God to give her a stand,
Something to call her own, rather than getting kicked off other people’s land.
|"I want to have a stand." Mama Charity was asking to have a piece of property|
in her own name in the community she lives in.
The months kept going by, and the burns began to heal,
But was this chalkboard God and this family thing real?
She dared, in faith, to ask if there were any stands for sale,
Everything she tried seemed to invite humiliation and to fail.
One day, she gave up. She was packing up and getting out.
Maybe God abandoned her too. She was consumed in her doubt.
I told her I was also still waiting on my chalkboard dreams to come true,
I asked her if she believed for me that this God would come through.
She scoffed and said, “YES” with her mouth and with her look,
I saw something change suddenly. That was all that it took.
Something broke loose right then, and she learned how to hear God’s voice.
Her life hadn’t changed, but hope became her choice.
She said she would stay because God would give her a stand this year,
There was still no money, but now there was no fear.
On the other side of the Equator, through a girl and her church in Norway.
The heavens opened up and sent exactly what Mama Charity needed to pay.
The finances had been given, but took so long to get in the right place,
It seemed like it was going all wrong, until we saw God’s hand in that pace.
This week I got to tell Mama Charity that her prayers had been heard,
She froze. She just stood there. I opened up the Word.
We worshiped right there, a holy moment in a decrepit shack.
We prayed in two languages to the God who doesn’t turn his back.
We remembered our Lord through communion together,
We celebrated that He was the Branch on which our hopes would tether.
Mama Charity giggled and cheered when we dared to look back again,
God had heard her the whole time, and hearing His voice was the biggest win.
Hope became the language, and stand number 326 is a battlefield of grace.Mama Charity’s cries have been heard. Her name has been signed on that place.
|We had to give the kids a little bit of communion early to keep them busy|
while we prayed together. :)
|Given's healing hand|
|And this is how we found Karabo... A communion hang-over.|
I SWEAR it was just grape juice in that cup!
|Such a happy day! Me: "Mama Charity! I know you're in shock... just TRY to do a real smile."|