Parables and Presence-part 1

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 16, 2017

By Jonathan J.Filkins

Sarah’s early life had been very troubled and difficult. Born to alcoholic parents, always seemingly unemployed, she was often left alone with her other siblings. As time wore on, the family was forced to live in their decrepit car, or in shelters; along with the children spending time in foster care. In Sarah’s early teens, she turned to recreational drugs to ease her emotional pain.

Given her circumstances, it came to no one’s surprise that the young girl became pregnant, right after she dropped out of school.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It seemed as though her life was going to be short lived and fraught  with a many self-imposed perils; of both the emotional and physical kind. Sarah was following the path of so many children, without a seeming regard for the consequences.

Now, estranged from her family, the soon-to-be delivered child’s mother roamed the empty, dark streets.

In desperate straits, lonely and totally alone, she had pan-handled for what she could, but never had quite enough to afford a place to warm and rest.

One night, Sarah crawled under an overpass and found a cold, concrete abutment to shelter from the biting wind.

Tears rolled down her cheeks as the young girl, now aged beyond her years, sobbed at the condition of her plight. From the dark recesses of the overpass, came a small, soothing voice, “What are you doing here, on such a night, young lady?”

The voice came again, “Are you OK? Looking down from her sordid perch, Sarah saw the glint of police officer’s badge and the lights of a patrol car quietly idling below. “I ain’t doing nothing!,” she said, fearing arrest.

Again, came the soothing voice of the officer, “I didn’t think you did, but this is no place for you, on a night like this.

Why don’t you come with me and I will take you to a better place?”

Tentatively, while sizing up the woman before her, Sarah jumped down and walked slowly to the car.

Getting in, the warmth was as just the soothing cathartic she needed.

It was not only the heated warmth, but also the warmth of the generosity of a fellow human. Sarah simply need to know that someone cared.

During their drive, Sarah opened up to the officer, and spoke about her life.

After she took a breath, the officer began, “My name is Jennifer and I am going to give you some advice.

Sarah, life is all about choices, both good and bad. Sure, we can blame others for what we are doing, but in the end, it is ourselves who are ultimately responsible. It’s your life, so the big question is what are you going to do with it?”

Soon, the duo stopped in front to the local rescue mission.

The presence of the bright lights offered hope to many in the dark, surrounding world.

Walking in the door together, the officer gave Sarah her business card, made sure Sarah had a bed for the night and told her to let her know if she needed anything.

That night, Sarah finally realized that her life needed some big changes. She slept well, and was ready for her new journey at the dawn of the day.

Over the following weeks, Sarah developed a deeper friendship with Jennifer, the caring woman who had rescued her.

It was just what she needed, and she relied upon the officer for guidance and direction. The baby, a girl, was named “Jennifer,” to honor the relationship.