She walked up and placed her warm hands in my own.
I noticed her smile right away. Her dimples cratered out, one deeper than the other.
“Wow,” I said. “You have beautiful dimples!”
“Oh,” she said shyly. “This one’s not a dimple. It’s a scar from when he pushed me down the stairs.”
My voice cracked and tears filled my eyes as I asked her how I could pray for her.
“I just want to be reunited with my family someday. I miss them.”
I bowed my head, God give me words.
I think I prayed for twenty women at that maximum security prison event in Topeka Friday night. Each one came to me with eyes full of tears, hearts so tender and broken.
Some would say that I held the hands of murderers, thieves and addicts. I would say I held the hands of moms, sisters and daughters. Most of them asked for prayer for those on the outside. “I have five children,” said one woman who looked no older than my daughter. “Please pray that I can pull my life together and be a mom to them.”
By the tenth woman, I had a hard time keeping it together.
So much pain in one room.
Please God, my heart cried, hear their prayers. Heal their hearts, rescue their children, bring hope and life where there is only despair and death.
My prayers seemed too small for the bigness of the hurt. A drop of grace in a bucket of sorrow.
The woman with the broken dimple stiffened her wrist as I held her hands. She turned one to the side and I glanced down. A long jagged scar marked the inside of her arm.
Scars on the outside, scars on the inside.
I sit with tears in my eyes as I write this blog. I’m feeling a bit like all I did was place a tiny band-aid on their gaping wounds. I feel the weight of their hurt and know that there are thousands and thousands just like them all around this country, all around this world.
It makes me cry.
God, use those of us who are able, to scoop up the wounded and hurting. Show us how to love with all of our hearts. Maybe if we each extend a drop of grace, their buckets will fill to overflowing. Maybe if we each apply a tiny band-aid, we can bind up their wounds. Maybe if we each carry one soul into God’s throne room, He can wrap his arms around them there… and turn their broken dimples into joy.
Oh Lord, may it be so.