A streetlamp flickered as Marcy walked by, and snow began falling. She wanted so badly to be inside, anywhere, any place that had heating. She didn’t know where else to go, she didn’t want to go there but it was the only place that would take her on this bitter cold Christmas Eve.
She was desperate. So she headed to the Gospel Mission. At least she could find warmth there and a decent meal. She knew she smelled bad, but it didn’t matter anymore.
Once she got there, it did not go well. There was no food left, and the staff argued with each other on whether Marcy should sleep with the men or the women. They looked at her with disgust and continued arguing with each other. Marcy’s face turned beet red with embarrassment and anger. She tried to explain why she was a woman, but they wouldn’t listen.
Marcy turned and headed for the door. No one, absolutely no one tried to stop her. There was only one place left she could try although she was sure they were closed now.
It was a long difficult walk including over a bridge and in the snow, and now the wind picked up. She asked heaven for help, and she was bold enough to ask for three small Christmas gifts.
“I could really use these gifts right now” … she said out loud, looking up.
Almost an hour later she made it…to the Pride Center. The door was locked! She banged as loud as she could, weeping and calling out for help. Suddenly the door opened, “What is all that noise!” And when the woman standing there saw Marcy, she said “Come in child come in, dear God look at you!”
Her name was Linda, an older woman and a psychologist who had fallen asleep after meeting with a client there. She took Marcy in and went into action, wrapping her in blankets and fixing something up in the microwave that smelled delicious. Marcy knew that smell, and with a smile on her face said, “Lasagna!”.
The two women talked, and Marcy told her about her night so far. They finished the coffee in the coffee pot, and talked some more about everything. Linda offered to give her fresh clothes from the attached thrift shop. They both hated red!
Linda pointed down the hallway and said, “Second door on the right is a bathroom with a shower.” Marcy smiled beautifully. Linda continued, “There’s shampoo in the closet.” And after the shower and fresh clothes, Marcy realized something.
Linda had given her the Christmas presents she was hoping for. When she told Linda, they hugged each other with tears streaming down their faces.
All Marcy wanted for Christmas was to feel loved, accepted, and encouraged.
“Merry Christmas Marcy!”
P.S. That night Marcy slept on the sofa at the center, warm and comfy. She and Linda became good friends, and Marcy now works at the thrift shop.