As I stepped out of the van, I was immediately pulled out by one of the helpers to come down to the basement where they housed the food pantry for the homeless. "It was an emergency", he said, and my arm was the first one he grabbed to help. What was going on? I was in the middle of our Music Ministry Tour with my ORU Music team many years ago. and we were ministering in the Bronx, NY. It was in the worst part of town, and we would be there for a few days. Little did I know God was about to put the Bronx forever in my heart. Things were about to change, really fast!
As I was taken downstairs, the staff director said to me, “she’s been beaten again, this time with a baseball bat. She was hit so hard, they found the bat broken in two pieces. We don’t know how long or if she will even make it. The E.R. probably won't come because this happens weekly to her. She was homeless. Just stay with her OK?” OK? What was I walking into? Why was I the one chosen? God...HELP!
It was all a blur until I saw her. There she was on the floor in the fetal position, blood everywhere, so thin, so frail, her hair falling out, some of her nails missing, bruises everywhere. She was bleeding internally. I could not even find a patch of skin that was not purple. I remember uttering out loud, but my voice not making it out....”Oh Jesus, I need you....oh how I need you.” Immediately a warm rush flooded my body and I knew the Holy Spirit was right there with me. I instantly felt calm. That empty cold basement with one chair that was now filled with just me and this precious woman....was instantly filled with His presence. I picked her up, and put her in my arms. I sat in the creaking rocking chair with her, and I rocked. I found out later her name was Sarah. She was not conscious. Where were the people? Where was the help? Why wouldn’t they help her? I didn’t know the answers, I didn’t need to. God knew. So I just rocked. That picture to this day is forever etched into my mind and heart.
What was I supposed to do now? I heard the Lord whisper in my heart. “Sing over her, pray over her, love her with your heart, let me do the rest.” Your eyes are the window to your soul, and she will see.” How could she see? She was unconscious!
So I sang. I sang Jesus Loves Me, I sang songs my Grandma and Mom would sing over me when I was hurting, I sang songs we were singing on this tour, I sang about heaven, I sang about healing. I sang prayers of healing over her. I just sang. At one point I thought she had passed away, but I saw her little finger move. I kept singing. As I sang I felt a presence of the Lord like never before. He was there in that room, helping me hold on for this dear lady. She may not have mattered to anyone, she may not have had family, she may have been homeless for years and had nobody, but she mattered to Jesus. She mattered so much to Him that He was holding her in His arms, and God chose me to be those arms for Him.... and He was holding me as I held onto her! After 4 hours of singing, and what little voice I had left....still singing...I saw her eyelashes flutter. I saw a deep purple in her body which they said was internal bleeding, begin to lighten. I felt her skin begin to change temperature. I sang and I prayed “Oh Jesus! please heal her, please give her purpose, please be her Savior and save her!” To this day I don’t think I have cried out like that ever. It was pure desperation! God knew. God heard. She ever so gently reached over and grabbed my finger. She squeezed it with a gentle squeeze. It was like she was holding on with whatever bit of life she had left. Would I be the last person she would see? I just held and kept singing, wiping my own tears at this point.
I missed the concert that night. I was in the basement holding this sweet lady. My songs on this night would be sung to one, not hundreds. After 4 more hours, her eyes opened. They were crystal blue. I remember through all the broken blood vessels, that beautiful blue. They looked up at me and there it was. A beautiful smile! She was missing most of her teeth, but it was the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen. For the next hour she watched me as I sang, I never talked to her....I just sang. At one point I stopped, just looked into her eyes, and asked the Lord to speak everything He wanted her to hear, through my eyes, not saying a word. It was the only way I could communicate to her at that moment.....He answered.
There was a knock on the door, and an E.R. tech was there. He was expecting to come to pick up her body. By then, her color was pink, her eyes were clearing, and she was sitting up drinking some water. All I remember was the look on his face of sheer shock, and him uttering the words....”are you kidding?” Nope, I was not kidding, and neither was the Lord. He took this very seriously.
In fact He took it so seriously that a precious family in the church took this lady in. They paid for her medical bills and took her to the hospital. They were so touched by the miracle of her life, and her story and knew God had plans for her. I will never forget this family ever. Angels sent from heaven, and answers to my prayers for this lady. Before we left for our next stop, the family found me and had news to share. They told me that when they began talking with Sarah after she became completely conscious, they asked her what she needed or wanted. Her reply was “I want what the lady singing to me had in her eyes.” The family told me they prayed over her, and she accepted the Lord that day. They said it was a precious time. As they told me this story, I fell to my knees, literally. I began to sob. I didn’t even have words. What a mighty God I served! I just cried and hugged this family. I was so thankful for them.
I lost touch with that family but the last communication I had with them, Sarah was doing great! She was regaining her health. She was involved in a support group at the church that helped battered women and she loved singing in the choir. They said Sarah’s passion was to sing! She glowed when she sang. They said that singing gave her purpose. Sarah found her purpose! She was a praiser! Oh I knew God had big plans for Sarah. I write about this story with tears streaming down my face. Sarah changed my life that day I held her in my arms. I learned that we hold heaven in our eyes, we hold healing in our spirit, we hold life in the darkness when we can’t say a word at all. God uses it all, and makes miracles happen even when there are no words involved.
I have learned that some of the most life changing speeches, have no words at all. They can touch the untouchable, reach the unreachable, love the unlovable....they can touch a hurting world for Him.
There was a song that we sung on tour called “Heaven in Your Eyes” by Jeremy Dalton. It was a duet that I sang with my dear friend on tour. From that day on, I could never get through the song without getting choked up. The words became a reality to me the day I held Sarah in my arms. I would never be the same.
We are mirrors.....what do we reflect? What shines out when we look at those who are hurting. Do we have heaven to offer? When others look at us, what will they find? We can change the world without saying a word. We can live out loud and not utter a sound. How very true it is......
Love never fails. Never. Just ask Sarah.