On the Monday afternoon, at X where I am doing ministry this year in St. Louis, when I was passing a sofa on the second floor, there was a lady who sat there. I smiled with her and asked “how you are?” I thought that I only said hi to her and that I would see some other ladies. The reason is I often find that I meet with ladies who are isolating themselves in that home. However this lady asked me in a very gentle voice “Hello Sister”. Her voice stopped my steps. She continued “how are you?” After answering her, I looked more carefully at her eyes, which seemed understanding. I could feel that she wanted me to be with her. Thus I asked “do you want me to sit down with you?” She said “yes” and our conversation began.
From her sharing, I knew that she was born in X state, which is a neighbor of Missouri state. Her parents had some kind of problems (alcoholic and others). They divorced when she and her younger brother were little children. Neither of their parents took care of her and her younger brother. Her brother was a solder in the Vietnamese war. When she shared this, I could feel it was a hard time, because her soul and her whole person were tied to her brother. She shared with him in the sadness he saw in the war. She was companion to him. She prayed for his safety. She prayed for peace. She was together with him in disagreement about the war. She had him to contact, to love and to care for. However, after some years her brother returned home, and he died. Since there, she has had no relatives or family members.
What is still in her memory is a name of the village where she was born. She did not know where her parent lived, or how they lived. How does her village look like? etc. She was excited to let me to know that she knows a person (a man) in her village. She still keeps contact with him, and she hope she can visit that village next year. She said to me that, “do you know, I am still trying to know who I am? I am still on a journey hum hum hum” (she nodded her head when she said it and her eyes see into toward an empty point far away).
I was touched by her sharing. She is gentle in her voice and in her acts. She did not blame God or her parents. She was not angry with her life where she did not have as much love, as much care, as many relatives as others. From her, I felt her peace, she knows to respect, accept and value what she has.
I asked her about a picture of our Lady with little Jesus on her neck. She said, I often pray, and then we prayed together. We felt very confident and natural in our prayer. We prayed in loud words. At that moment, I thought that a hall way became a chapel. We did not care when people came up and down, we focused on our conversation and prayer.