My story for today is about Carmen. I met her two years ago (check the June 06 archives for Carmen's story) and we've stayed in touch ever since. She's had her ups and downs--recovering from the traumas of her past (and present) will take a lifetime. But she loves Jesus and tries to keep her eyes fixed on Him. Sometimes she just needs a little help from her friends.
She doesn't hesitate to ask for that help, either. She tracked us down when she heard our motley crew was in town. Said she had a confession to make--which she made to me right smack in the middle of downtown. She was desperate to get back on track with God, but felt dirty, spoiled for relationship with Him. Both despair and hope were mingled in the deep lines of her brow.
That evening, she called me at the rec hall where we stay and asked me to come and pray for her. The Lord prompted me to bring Bonnie along, so we hiked up the hill to Carmen's house. She was delighted to see I'd brought reinforcements, said she'd been praying that I'd bring another godly woman with me.
We had an intense, 2-hour time of speaking truth and prayer--when we left, Carmen seemed at peace. Despite her great fears, she'd been able to step out and surrender her life back to God, to accept His cleansing and forgiveness and receive His grace. Hope shone in her face.
Last night, Carmen came down and had dinner with us. She laughed and joked around, and even asked if I'd cut her hair. I told her I didn't have much experience but would give it a whack.
"I want to look like Demi Moore," the 54-year-old Athabaskan woman told me.
"Well, start praying," I replied, as we hiked back up to her house. Tobi came along this time to help with the prayer effort.
Carmen had brought some leftovers back to her place and laid them on her kitchen table while she hunted down the hair cutting supplies.
I picked up the foil-wrapped burrito. "Do you want me to put this in your refrigerator?" I asked.
"No," Carmen replied, raising her eyebrows as if I'd asked a silly question.
I put the burrito down and picked up the scissors. Just then, Tobi walked into the room and picked the burrito back up.
"Do you want me to put this in the refrigerator for you?" she asked innocently.
Both Carmen and I burst out laughing.
"What can I say?" I chuckled. "We are crazy white women. Putting things in the refrigerator is what we do!"
The hair cut went without further incident (except for when Carmen jumped up screaming because a moose louse flew over her head. Tobi thought she'd had an abrupt change of mind about the hair cut). I'm not sure she looks like Demi Moore, but her beautiful, naturally curly hair would look good even if my husband cut it.
Carmen showed us the beaded necklaces she'd made after we'd prayed for her the night before.
"The Lord is giving me back my creativity," she told us. "And I can hold my head up today!"