How often is it that you meet someone who has both your first and last names? Well, I did! Brad's cousin ( once removed?) married a Claire and guess what? I met her this weekend and she is super nice- of course...! AND she spells our name the way I do- correctly! She was out here to visit Pari for a few days. This morning, Pen and I went over there for a couple hours and had a great time, eating lunch, gabbing away and getting to know her a little bit. It was such a fun time. It turns out she has had experience working with young people in group homes so it was really neat to talk about that. Whodathunkit? Two Claire Passes in the world- both with similar jobs! What are the odds? But then, she really loves animals, so there the similarities end. Ah well. Not that I hate animals- I just don't know that many personally.
Then I zoomed off to the Rockdale County Jail where I met up with "Deputy Pass" who introduced me to...let's call her Alice. Wow. The poor girl was in tears most of the time- not sobbing or anything- just a tear here and there trickling down regularly through the half hour that we talked. What a tale of woe. This girl is only seventeen and already, she's been through more difficulty than most of us ever experience. Her family has basically rejected her, and she's been on her own for a couple years- working jobs under the table, staying with this person and that person...with no real support system. I don't think she's been to school since she was fourteen. Now- she didn't blame her family for where she is; she admitted that what she did was wrong but I guess this is the first time she has gotten into trouble and it's knocked her for a loop. She really reminded me of a lot of the girls at the Shelter...the plucked eyebrows starting to grow back again and all. How many hundreds of thousands of girls does she represent? Hopeless, alone, scared. She doesn't know when her court date is or when she is getting out of jail. She said she was really thankful for Deputy Pass, because he is the only one who is kind to her. She has been in jail for two months and has had only two visits from a former roommate. She has yet to lay eyes on her public defender.
For those of you interested- yes- our visit did take place in a room where we were separated by glass and had to talk over a phone. Just like the movies. Weird. Surreal.
I hope to go again next week and bring her some things. Dennis gave me a list of things that are allowed, among which are religious books, thank goodness. Apparently the prison library is full of trashy romances but if it's not educational or religious, I can't bring her any reading material. Hmmmm....educational and religious could be stretched kinda far...Apparently she has had some sort of religious experiences in the past- at least some church attendance and she seemed to be fairly open in that area...so that's a help. At least I'm not starting from total scratch. I told her that God loves her, that He cares passionately about her- I hope it didn't come off as weird or trite. I did get a little tongue tied at one point...I mean- WHAT do you say? Rather - how/where do you start? Her misery almost paralyzed me. But today was a start. Please pray for her. She needs some REAL HELP. I told her I would pray for her but imagine if everyone who reads this blog prays for her- how much more the good will be multiplied.
I have SO much compared to this girl. I almost feel guilty for having such a good life. Why do some people get born into supportive, loving families that point you towards God and some get born into a family of losers?