Her name was Majesty. She was a petite grade schooler I met the other night. She had stunning features and bright beautiful eyes. In those eyes I saw someone who was shy, curious, kind, but had also known pain and loss.
The first time I saw her I said “hello”. She smiled and offered a “hi” in return.
The second time I saw her that evening she was balancing two plates and a cup of juice. Her mother told me she doesn’t like her food to touch, so dinner was spread out on two plates instead of one. She shyly smiled and nodded at the fact. I gave her some watermelon, chips and salsa, being careful not to let things get mixed up.
The third time I saw her that evening, I joined her and her family at a dinner table. I met her mom and 2 highschool brothers. I sat there with my son, slowly breaking the ice with small talk, curious to know more of this family’s story. What I heard blew me away.
This family was just like any other family in the Northwest- parents who worked and kids went to school. They lived in a house in a neighborhood, the kids loved to learn and they went to church on Sundays. Mom had them enrolled in afterschool activities to keep them busy. Life was full- but different than for most of us. You see, Majesty’s family is homeless.
A series of events led to loss of work, and loss of home, and now the family has spent their first week in an emergency shelter in Seattle. Dad and the eldest son sleep in the car so they can be close to Mom and the 3 youngest kids. Mom drives an hour each way to drop her kids off at school down south in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. They will make it back to the emergency shelter by 5pm each night for a meal and place to rest their heads.
Majesty’s mom spoke of doubt and fear about her family’s future, but also hope and courage that some how things would get better. She spoke of faith in God and held to the promise that God would never leave their family, or forsake them.
In this mother’s eyes I saw strength and love, and resilience. She told me, “I have seven kids. I always thought I’d have a big family, but my mother said to me- ‘Seven?! What were you thinking?’ [she laughs] I wouldn’t trade them for anything.” She was able to laugh and talk as if, maybe tomorrow, life would be back to normal- even though we both new, that it wasn’t that simple.
I thought of Majesty going to school each day, possibly hiding the truth that her family was homeless from her friends so she wouldn’t be made fun of or looked down upon. I imagined the weight of that burden to carry, one that no one could take from her, because it is her story.
I wanted to do more than just give her a meal. I wanted to lighten her load. My only offering though was to see the mightiness and greatness within her, that which her name means. To hear her story, and to see her for who she was, to believe that she was strong enough for an experience like this and that somehow, some way, the right people and the right opportunities would be lined up so that this family could witness a miracle and find ‘home’ again.
Say a prayer with me for Majesty and her beautiful family- that they would find home again soon.