Micah 7:7-9 As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me . . . Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light . . . The Lord will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness.
The formation of diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures. Most diamonds are brought near the surface from ninety miles or more underground by volcanic eruption. (https://geology.com/articles/diamonds-from-coal/)
“You’re safe because you’re with me,” Vania [not her real name] whispered. “Don’t ever come here alone.”
Slipping through a narrow break between buildings on a busy São Paulo street, we plunged steeply downhill on an uneven staircase through a hive of makeshift dwellings and the stench of festering garbage.
But it was the silence that unnerved me. People were everywhere, but they seemed frozen in place, all eyes fixed on us. Even the half-naked children stared. I had to focus on not falling as I followed Ivani down, down, down, until abruptly she turned left, walked through someone’s home, across a stinking passageway, up a few steps and into a room lit only by the glare of hot sunlight streaming through the open door. Someone lay on a pallet in a dim corner. Vania’s mother. She had sent Vania to fetch me to pray for her.
These memories flooded my mind as twenty years later and a continent away, I saw a message from Vania pop up on Facebook. “Can we talk? My father died. I am in deep grief.”
Vania’s father. He arrived as Vania and I prayed for her mother. I noticed a change in the atmosphere even before Vania gripped my arm mid-prayer. Looking up, I felt punched in the gut by a look I can only describe as pure hatred. “Out,” he spat.
Vania kissed her mother and pulled me past him and out the door, back up and up to the safety of the street. “Go. I’ll call you.” And she disappeared.
Staring at my computer screen, I pondered the miracle of Vania. Her passionate love for Jesus. Her pilgrimage toward healing from a lifetime of abuses, neglect and trauma. Her determination to conquer sixth grade, and then seventh . . . Her inexplicable love for her broken family.
My computer dinged. I typed “Of course. Call. I’m sorry for your loss” and hit Send. But was I sorry? In light of all that man had done to my friend? No. “Lord, I don’t have Vania’s Spirit-fueled love. Forgive me. Use her again to teach me. Have mercy on his soul. And on mine.”