Saturday, May 7, 2011
In Front of a Church
In front of a church. That’s where a man raped me. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. I was wearing black track pants and a pick sleeveless shirt. He was drunk and sitting on the sidewalk. I jogged past almost tripping on his foot and thought how fortunate for him I sidestepped his leg. I could have hurt him. He thought I looked like a victim.
In front of a church. That’s where I almost died. My torn clothes fell off my body and my blood mixed with the dirt on the sidewalk. But, even though I felt entirely alone, someone was watching me. He had been working late in the office of the church, writing a sermon on the Good Samaritan and had gotten thirsty. At the kitchen sink, leaning over to fill his glass, he looked out and saw me, barely visible under the streetlight.
In front of a church. That’s where a man saved me. He rushed through the doors yelling into his cell phone. He said the paramedics told him not to move me, and he wouldn’t leave until they came. Then he prayed for me, words so sad I stopped crying for myself and cried for him. He begged God to let me live.
In front of a church. That’s where I began to live. My mother pushed my wheelchair and knocked on the door. Neither of us knew if it was okay just to go in. We waited for two minutes and almost gave up. Then he opened the door, caught his breath, and hugged me. He taught me to pray.
In front of a church. That’s where a man kissed me. I had prayed for the first time. He had promised to help me. Then he looked up through teary eyes and kissed my cheek. I said good bye but didn’t mean it. I knew I’d be back.
In front of a church. That’s where I fell in love. Day after day my mother wheeled me down the sidewalk that connected my house to the church on the corner. He would open the door with a smile and we would talk for hours. With each trip I fell more and more in love with the man who had save my life and prayed with me.
In front of a church. That’s where a man married me. I promised to love him and help him serve God. He promised to love me and protect me. We kissed in front of the door as our friends and families cheered. Then he pushed my chair to the sidewalk into a new life.