This afternoon began two months ago when I met a fellow by the name of Philip on a train ride from San Diego back up to Los Angeles; he lives in Brooklyn. Philip and I have been talking by way of phone since then and until today when we went out for lunch, toured Brooklynn and went to an evening church service in Manhattan. I had been anxious for this day as I really do not "know" Philip in the traditional sense of the term, that being that we had only had a face-to-face conversation once, two months ago, and on a two hour train ride. What I do know of Phil is that he is a non-Christian, very intelligent, incredibly interested in a lot of things, very opinionated and full of both questions and answers. This afternoon with him, while slightly awkward and unenjoyable at times, was harmless. After church I, again rather awkwardly, left him with some other guys and ran off with the girls...and the evening took flight.
We four girls headed to buy dinner, then bought red carnations and proceeded to hand them out and leave them places as simple tokens of well, beautiful things. This led us to a woman, who would not tell us her name but who was very hungry; thus, McDonalds. I bought her a meal and myself some coffee, the other girls snagged some food as well and we all sat down to talk. This woman has been living in NY her whole life, has been dating a woman for seven years now and is attempting to resist marriage, hustles gay men to 'earn' money and commutes from Staten Island. We spent the next two hours with her, walking the streets, talking, secretly crying without letting her see. She attends a church with a body of solid homosexuals, including the pastor and as we walked past her church I know we all prayed hard. The girls gave her a ride to the Staten Island Ferry and she told us that her name is Mary Ann.
I am left this evening with so many questions, so many thoughts. LORD, WHAT AM I TO DO? If I am to love, then well, I love her. Is it enough to spend a few dollars on a McDonalds meal, to spend a few hours listening and talking to a woman who does not really want to talk about her life situation, to repeatedly correct her when she states that one needs more than God in a city of eight million people? It is really enough to be a painter? Grace....freely given grace and redemption...that is what Mary Ann wants, not some chicken sandwich. How does one convey all of that, the life giving death of Christ, in so many words and actions? and did we do enough? Can a human being really DO enough for another human being? There must be intervention, my prayers will not suffice. How many Mary Ann's are there out there?