Tears in Shoreditch

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by Guest Author — August 26, 2013

Never thinking God would challenge me as I walked the streets of London alone taking pictures of the less likely thought as art, creativity that covered the walls from street to street.

Feeling as I should walk passed my train station to go home and since it wasn’t too dark I could see a little more before having to head home. My legs ached and exhaustion crept in, but I felt a tug to keep going and said to my self I will just walk a little past the tunnel (below where the train crossed). Saw some great art on the walls and took some great pictures!

Then…

Thinking I was going to just walk past and continue to take pictures as I walked past her again, and again, and again. I ignored the ache in my heart.

I even took pictures of the graffiti around her and tried to get her in the picture so people back home could see a picture of the homeless in London.

Wow, how wicked am I?

Then, I walked back to her and as my heart was pounding I got down on my knees looked at the cup in front of her with one coin in it and asked something like “why are you on the street?”

She didn’t speak english.

She did speak spanish.

I however, well I am but rusty.

I am at lost for words to say and they are not coming out in english or spanish. I freeze. I cant even look at her. Then I start weeping. I don’t know what had come over me and I just kept saying I am sorry. “I am so sorry” I was mostly sorry because I am this awkward random girl on her knees and cant stop crying in front of her.

As I tried to communicate with her through my lack of words in spanish and her trying to understand my “tex-mex” she said in spanish she had a son that spoke some english and she turn around and under the blanket next to her was her son probably a bit older than me sleeping. Completely covered I didn’t know for sure there was a person under there and if there was it was already awkward enough weeping in front of her, let alone her son who would probably be freaked out and upset after being woken up. I said no its okay don’t wake him up in my broken spanish, horrible grammar, and wet cheeks.

She insisted.

Alex woke up and sat up and I was stumbling over my words. I asked something like, “where are you from?” “why are you here?”

He said they were from Romania. I asked what brought them here. He said he was looking for work and that work was bad or that Romania was bad.

He was having trouble finding work in London because his english wasn’t that great and getting a visa to go to America was even harder. He said he was taking a class or something to learn english better.

I wanted to do something for them, but really didn’t know what. They weren’t begging for money and it wasn’t like they had been on the street for long or would stay on the street, but I have no idea. I only knew a little bit of their story.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I gave them some money and asked if I could pray for them.

Alex and Leticia sat there and stared at me. Alex asked what I said and I kept asking. Can I pray? Do you mind if I pray for you? Can I pray over you? I didn’t know how else to explain it. I said I believe in a God who hears me and answers me. Leticia asked Alex what I was saying and they both said yes. So I bowed my head and just started to weep.

I wept in the middle of the street just under the overpass where my train would travel across to take me home right outside the Shoreditch High Street overground station. Surrounded by graffiti covered walls and people power walking their way past.

I wept as I tried to put words together.

I don’t even know what I said and I am sure they couldn’t understand me.

When I said Amen. Leticia agreed and said “Amen”

I think she tried to explain she believed in God and knew God. Her face was lit up.

I don’t know about Alex, but I had a feeling me and Leticia was on the same page.

I kept saying sorry as I wiped my face of my tears.

I gave them a number and my name and said if they needed anything I would do my best to help them.

I still feel as I could had done more than just gave them money and prayed, but and my heart is unsettled I can’t figure out what that could be. I couldn’t offer them to stay at a house that isn’t mine or take them somewhere with a car I didn’t have. I was a foreigner as were they.

I was lost.

They had been seen.

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.

He saw me and He saved me.

I saw them, but I cant save them. I just hope that He saves them.

He brings hope to the hopeless and rest for the weary. He brings help to the helpless and love for the broken hearts.

I had prayed for my heart to be broken today for what breaks His heart.

Maybe what happened tonight was just that.

I honestly can’t explain.

All I can say is that I broke and a part of me froze. I wanted to do more.

I know God can and will do more for them than I ever can.

Father, give them work, give them a home, give them food, and provide for their needs. Keep them safe and give them rest. May they come to know your saving grace through Jesus and its in His name I ask and pray. Amen.

By Sharel Gaskey

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