11 July 2015

A scene from a night at the Glasgow City Mission

by Mary Sares

I am a bit concerned by a client who is crying and looks like she is under the influence of drugs as she is escorted into the room. As she settles in a corner, I look her way.

I am under the influence of God's compassion. I can go to her. As I sit by her, she begins moving into me. Before long her head is on my shoulder. As we talk, she struggles to relate how she came from Dundee a couple days ago. She does not want to return because her family is there. She does not want to be with the man she was with last night. Her head slumps on my lap. Within seconds she is asleep.

We are moved into an office. A dispatch comes to interview her for an appointment for the morning. There are no spots at the shelter tonight.
Her face shows disappointment. She says she does not want to be alone.

Trying to eat a sandwich and drink soup out of a cup, she hears the news that seems difficult to me, let alone her in her condition. She should make an eight o'clock appointment at the agency.

It is then that her eyes land on a wooden cross which is leaning against the wall. She stares at it. Her eyes are fixed. "What is that cross for?" The others leave. "What is that cross for?"

"For us to see. Would you like to see it close up?"


Then I am a witness to one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen.
She puts her arms around the horizontal beam so that her face is exactly at the "crux" of the cross. She is hugging the wooden cross. With tears and cries she utters, "I haf nuhin'. I need ya." She is staring at the wood as if Jesus is really there.

It was heartbreaking to watch her head off into the night with a sleeping bag, raincoat, and toiletries - and with prayer for her well-being.

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