I paused for the what seemed like minutes trying to find my voice to tell this woman, “No, I’m too raw to comfort you. I’m the one in need of comfort.” When as I played those messages in my head I could hear a small still voice inside me whispering,
Beloved, I know you are hurting, but this woman is my child. You know what I expect of you.
I open my mouth ready to defy the voice and can barely believe the words that pass through my raw throats and spill out of my mouth. “Yes, of course.” I move my bag out of the way to make room for my new companion. Perhaps there was room for one more to take shelter in my ice palace. At least I won’t have to worry about a man popping down next to me.
She settles in and leans back into the blue plastic covered headrest, closes her eyes and exhales more air than it appears her tiny frame could hold at one time. I turn back to my busy work. My cousin had given me a few skeins of yard and a set of crochet needles before putting me on the bus with the ticket my father had purchased for me when I had made the hardest call of my life.
“Daddy, I need to come home.” Six little words that I knew would forever change my life. Lily held my hand as I told him what happened and I have to hand the phone off to Lily as I give into the madness again that had consumed me for the past three days walking the house babbling nonsense without being able to sleep or eat.
“My name is Nancy.”
I hear a voice from far away pulling me back to the present. I look to my right and smile.
“Hi, Nancy. I’m Lav.”
“That’s an unusual name.”
“Well, my name is really Lavender. My family has a thing about girls and flowers.”
“That’s lovely. Tell me, what is that you’re working on?”
I look down at my hands at the afghan that is starting to take shape and tell her that working with the yarn helps to calm me. Nancy looks at me like she wants to ask me something and then I realize what she’s after and offer her some of my yarn and a spare crochet needle. We must have made an interesting site. Two perfect strangers riding in the back of a greyhound bus running from pain that was still too painful to fully face. We rode that way occasionally sharing a few words between us.
When we rolled up on Denton, Texas, I realized that I hadn’t slept for five solid days. Inside I felt drained lower than any other time in my life. Then I heard that voice nudging me again.
Share your testimony, Beloved.
No, I am too broken to serve you right now, Lord. I need more time to heal from this hurt. The message is unchanged.
Share your testimony, Little One.
I take a deep breath and turn to Nancy and I begin,
“There’s something I need to tell you…”
~ Marta C. Youngblood