I still remember the day the Lord showed up. On January 26, 1992, I was in a dark place. There was a fire in our apartment in the Bronx. It was my 16th birthday, and it was a cold morning. The soot on the walls and in the kitchen should have been a warning sign of the darkness that would follow me. I have never forgotten the smell of fire. The smell of charcoal has been imprinted in my DNA.
I was homeless at 16. Many people have misconceptions of what homelessness looks like, even me at the time. But unfortunately, I didn’t have it anymore. I was it. We were living with my aunt temporarily. It was six people in a crowded one bedroom apartment. We had nothing. We rented a room and felt a glimmer of hope. But I wasn’t at peace: I worried about my mom, my grades, how we were going to find our next meal.
I prayed a lot. Honestly, I lost everything but I was thankful I was still here. I prayed about my mom’s mental health, graduating high school, pursuing my dreams of becoming a doctor and finding happiness. Mostly I prayed about finding an apartment.
Four months later, we went shopping in the Bronx. My mother’s friend drove us in his car. My mom was the passenger, me and my sister were in the backseat. He double parked and turned on his hazard lights. The car was left on a hill, while he and my mom went to the store. They said it would not take long. As soon as they leave, I get this feeling that the car is moving downhill. I feel the car moving. I get paranoid about it actually moving. I use a point of reference to confirm that the car was moving, and it was. I yelled for help. A man came from the driver’s side pulled open the driver’s door, stepped on the brakes and pulled up the emergency brake. The car stopped moving. My sister and I were both crying inconsolably. My mom and her friend came to the car, looking scared and confused. The man explained that he had stopped the car from moving, and he left. I looked back to see his face. I couldn’t see it: my eyes were blurred with tears. My mom consoled us.
I really thought I was going to die that day. God sent me an angel on May 2012. That day I was 16 years old and still homeless, in a dark place with many questions unanswered. However, on that same day, he shed some light into my darkness. He allowed me to see that everything has its purpose and that you are at a specific location for a specific reason. I was there to be touched by an angel. My angel was there to allow me to see that he hears my cries. This was the day he showed up.