It was the first time I had ever seen C on the blade, with her wide eyes and two cheap braids she said she wore to deceive her customers into thinking she closer to twenty instead of forty. I couldn’t blame her—like is hard on the track. From a distance down the other side of the block-

She knew: we were coming for her. We, the “church people,” were ready to give gifts and pray.

She knew: God was revealing options for her.

She knew: All this, drunk on a bottle or so of Tequila, which still graced the scent of her breath.

She knew: It was wrong.

But I was grateful for those wide eyes and cheap braids to come straight towards us and wait until we met her in the middle of the sidewalk. And that’s when C starting preaching to us. I mean, this woman knows her scriptures inside and out. Over the next hour, she shared about her family, the death of mom and the money she still owed a guy a couple blocks down. I couldn’t really get a word in edgewise, but it didn’t seem to matter. What she really needed was someone to listen to her important stories and understand. I was happy to meet C that night. And elated she decided to go right on home.