Saturday, February 10, 2018


"I am ready to stop all this stuff," she said.

"You can, you know. You can." That response surprised her. I rested my palm over the top of her hand and repeated myself. "You can."

She smiled at me and I smiled back. "You say that like you believe it."

"It's because I do."

After that, I changed the subject. We talked about her beautiful skin that lay over her high cheekbones like a brown satin sheet. I asked where she'd left her wrinkles and pretended to look under the bed and outside the door. That made her laugh.

"Guess it's just my genes," she giggled.

"I'll say," I replied.

"The rest of this in my genes, too. Like people in my family wired for strongholds."

"Yeah. My family, too."

Her eyes widened. "For real?"

"Oh yeah."

She sat there staring out of the window after that. My hand was still on top of hers and now she was holding my fingertips tightly. I let her.

"You think I can stop?"

"I think you can do anything."

"You saying that like you mean it."

"It's 'cause I do."

That soft smile crept over her lips again. I curled my lips and nodded for added confirmation.
And that was it.

I have no idea if she will overcome this addiction after this hospitalization. But here's what I do know: The tiniest spark of belief from one person can ignite a fire of change in another. I've learned that haters and naysayers can be found everywhere. I prefer to shock the shit out of people with real, true optimism.

I do.

You are not a "crackhead."
You are not a "drunk."
You are not a "homeless lady."
You are not a "psych patient."

You are none of these things. You are your possibilities. And you are a child of God.

And no. I don't always get all of this perfect. And yes, I do fall short on empathy sometimes. But mostly, I keep trying with all of my might to find the intersection in our similarities. And what I know for sure is that it is always, always there.


Only grace separates circumstances in most instances. At least that's what I think.


Happy Saturday.


  1. WOW, thank you for reminding me what a gift “ grace” is.

  2. "You are none of these things. You are your possibilities. And you are a child of God."

    I need this, need to believe this for my son. It's hard when you hurt though.

  3. I just want to thank you for your writing. I'm a minister and I worked at Grady for a summer as a chaplain intern. I don't get to hear sermons very much-I'm usually the one talking. But your writing is an opportunity for me to read something inspiring and the most exceptional sermons are. Thank you

  4. I'm loving these shorter posts, most of all because they have you blogging again. Gorgeous snapshots of a purposeful life. Hope all the family is well.

  5. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
    As a retired nurse who spent many years in an inner city ER, by my faith I tried kindness first with most interactions with patients and staff. I have never regretted taking the high road.
    Sending prayers and positive thoughts to you and your team!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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