"But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
I never saw her...I only heard the description quickly pronounced by one of my teammates as we passed her by. Those words hung in the air...was that all she was? A girl without a name described by a generic article of clothing.
I don't know her story but I could guess at some of the details. Fatherless, abandoned, abused, broken- hearted, numb from the years of pain, living life simply to survive one day to the next.
I don't know her name or even the image of her face but I know God's thoughts towards her. I know that He knows the exact number of hairs on her head, that he has kept every tear of hers in a bottle. I know that He knit her together in her mother's womb with good works planned for her even before the foundations of the earth. I know that He created her with a purpose, to give her a hope and a future.
I know to the very depths of who I am that these things are true but does she? Will she live her life merely to survive this earth never knowing her Creator?
Week after week I'm haunted by the reality of this girl, not just her but all those that she represents.
Yet at the same time I'm hopeful, hopeful because God has done for me what He longs to do for each of them...for all of us. He has given me value, He has given me hope, He has redeemed me and pulled me out of my sin and brokenness into abundant life with Him.
As we drove home last night one of my teammates and I discussed the night's events... we didn't remember a lot of details. Not many girls received us though most of them took a gift bag, between the two of us we didn't have any real conversations or pray with anyone (though others on the team did). But my teammate had her mind set on things above as she said to me, "I can't wait to get to heaven and see all that God has done. All the hearts that were changed because of a simple gift bag or the kindness of a stranger. All the seeds that God will harvest from these nights we have spent on the street."
Perhaps we'll meet the girl in the grey pants there...maybe the first time we learn her name it will be the new name God has given her in heaven.
"And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9