Scared, lonely, alone. She lived on the streets at age16 with her precious, 14 month old baby boy- her only treasure in the world. As a child herself, my mother longed for safety and love.
She had been her mother’s delight- red curls and blue eyes- just what her mama had prayed for- knowing that this would be her last child. Her mama died of kidney failure when mom was two years old leaving her and her 6 year old sister in the hands of a weak, broken hearted and angry father. He remarried within months to a tormented young woman who beat the children with a chain in fits of rage until they bled
Seeking love and safety, she eloped at the age of 14 and became a new mother at 15- alone on the streets, frightened, cast out and protective of her beloved infant son, David- (which means “beloved.”) One full year she spent alone like that.
Finally, in desperation she dared to go home.
She begged for her parents to take them in. Her toddler son was hungry and so was she.
Cruel anger and resentment seeped out from her parents’ hardened hearts. In cold, harsh silence, marked with bruising words of condemnation, her father drove her and her little son deep into the darkest part of Indianapolis and dropped them off on the streets in front of an inner city mission for the homeless, further crushing her already shattered heart.
Hope Shines bright in darkness
An elderly couple, the Hunts, ran Wheeler Mission with love and embraced her as their own. Her new “siblings” consisted of homeless men, addicts, teen girls and several mentally disabled jewels. It was in that bright, tiny mission on a dark street, where she learned of a love that embraced. The night she was dropped off, Mr. Hunt made her a bed on a pew next to him where he was preaching a service to the residents. They kept her and her son cherished and close, continually as she grieved. Seeds of unconditional love were planted into her hungry soul and began to slowly changed her 16 year old shattered heart into a treasured vessel filled up and spilling over with life. The Hunts and their broken “family” provided mom with a year of healing, tears and buckets of laughter as memories were made together and her life was filled with redemption and purpose.
Life is rippingly cruel.
While hope was found just in time at Wheeler mission, her heart’s greatest shattering occurred there. It was there, at Wheeler Mission, out of TRUE LOVE- love that lays its life down- love that puts the need of a child first- the love of a hero, that she decided to place her treasured, beloved, son for whom she would have given her life, into the arms of another mother. Her son was her truest love and the only consistent love she had ever experienced. She gave her son up for adoption to a family she believed would be able to provide stability and safety she was unable to give as her shattered heart healed. (Sixty years later, Wheeler Mission continues to take in broken hearts. Since then, a program has been started there that assists girl’s in parenting their children as they heal.)