Ten years, a mixture of laughter and sadness, tears and joy. An experience of being loved and accepted, and being cursed and rejected.  When I have reflected more deeply on each of the situations I experienced, I could not help but smile and say, “what a loving God I have, Who has journeyed with me through the years”. In all of these experiences, I have felt so blessed.

The most amazing parts of my life have been the moments shared, loving everyone, even those who could not love me back. Embracing everyone that came my way, giving myself to those most in need. It was not the quantity of service that I gave, but the extra miles that I walked with the most marginalized and vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside that made me smile. The laughter, the stories shared and listened to – sometimes they made me smile, and sometimes they made me cry.

Walking in our neighbourhood gave me the opportunity to know and share myself with the whole community. I have said that when the time comes for me to say goodbye to this precious community, I will leave behind a big portion of my heart, but I will bring with me the very rich experience I have had in the DTES. 

I was out walking one day when I noticed two men with a drug pipe and other paraphernalia. They saw a lady experiencing a drug overdose and immediately put aside their equipment and called to me to help. This is a community where people take care of each other.

Am I ready to give up what I am doing to help someone else?  That was my question to myself long ago – until I was in the same situation, seeing someone experiencing drug overdose. After all, our call is to give ourselves in the service of God to save one another physically, and our loving presence will draw others to God.

Categories: Reflections