Recently my friend Yolanda texted me these words “I am reading your book and your heart is so big I am able to feel what you were feeling in Chapter 5 and I am just balling!” Well I hope as you read this post, you feel not only my pain but those of my friend Trudy. However, Trudy does not need your tears, she needs your help.
Trudy has been a part of our Embrace Fairfield team for over six months. Trudy never finished high school and grew up in a rough neighborhood. She is street smart and tough as nails. She stood out to me because she has a mischievous nature. She can look at you with an absolutely stone cold expression and tell you that you messed up in some way and convince you that you did what she said you did. Then burst out laughing when she gets a reaction out of you. The first time she did that to me, I thought she was angry with me. I started apologizing for whatever it was she said I did even though I did not remember doing it. Her smile and that twinkle in her eye brought me such joy and relief.
Lately Trudy has not been herself. She continues to come to our gatherings but her sparkle is gone. Every week for the past several months, Trudy has had us pray for her job situation. Every week she calls potential nursing homes looking for positions in the field of dietary, her ideal job would be to be a cook, and every week Trudy is told “we don’t have any openings at this time.” This week however, the rejection was far more painful. You see there is this one nursing home that has been stringing her along for weeks. Telling her to call them next week or passing her along to another person. Today the stalling ceased when they told her that they would not consider hiring her. She was devastated.
When Trudy shared that the nursing home turned her down, I knew she was disappointed. However, I did not realize the depth of her pain until I noticed a tear trickling down her cheek. You see, tough girls like Trudy do not cry easily. She said “I just can’t do this anymore.” I tried my best to assure her that sometimes God closes a door because there is something better around the corner but my shallow attempt to point to the bright side of the situation did little to ease her pain.
In the old days, back when I have time to really be a minister and a friend to those I met in the city, I would have sat with her and prayed with her. I would have taken her back to the office, called all my friends who work in health care or food services and asked them to put the word out. I would have driven her around to places to put in her application. She would have known that I truly cared about her pain.
Unfortunately, my life is more complex than it used to be. I had a meeting in Hillside, a meeting with a potential ministry partner, emails to respond to, a publisher to call back. I left Trudy sitting in Fairfield with tear filled eyes and a broken spirit. It is 11:00pm and God reminded me of Trudy’s tears. I asked “Lord, what can I do at 11:00pm to help Trudy?”
God reminded me through Yolanda’s text that I can write. I can bring you into that room in Fairfield Court, introduce you to Trudy, show you her broken heart and pray you will respond. You can help Trudy by:
1.) Helping her find a job, any job. She cooks, she cleans, she will do almost anything. Her only limitation is that she does not have transportation so she has to find work on the bus line. If you have any leads, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass them on to Trudy.
2.) Coming to Fairfield and encouraging Trudy. She needs someone to simply be her companion on this journey. Someone to help her look for jobs in the newspaper on the internet and someone to cheer her up when things do not go as she had hoped. If you feel called to this role, shoot me an email and let me know when you are available.
3.) Praying for Trudy. Pray that the plans God has for her life would be clear to her and that she would find employment and live fully into whatever God has for her.
I don’t know if Yolanda’s estimation of my writing gift is valid but I pray through my feeble attempt to share some of my world with you, God will inspire someone to reach out to my friend Trudy and be Christ in the flesh in her time of need.