If you’re the kind of person who prefers to go unnoticed, then you best stay clear of Wendy. She’ll have you in a metaphoric embrace and pronounce you as part of the family before you can say “hello!”
Wendy understands the profound need for connection that folks around Haywood Street have. And it’s clear now that her presence is a gift to this community that searches for something flowing so naturally from her.
Her knack for hospitality and kindness isn’t the usual “welcome, we’re glad you’re here,” kind of thing. It’s a genuine “I want to know you”—which is maybe a little scary if you do, indeed, prefer to go unnoticed. Nevertheless, if you’re curious enough to hang around, you’ll be quick to realize that she is glad you’re here.
Wendy describes her story to me and some friends as we sit on the Respite’s recently screened porch. “It’s a sad story with losses and mistakes but there’s hope in it because it led me here,” she says.
Wendy’s initial visit to Mission Hospital was a few months ago when she first met Pastor Brian and learned about Respite. “He was a glowing face in the middle of a bunch of zombies. I knew I needed to go talk to him and that’s when he told me about Respite. I wanted to go there so I asked the nurses to call. All they said was that they had a discharge place planned, but they wouldn’t tell me where I was going.”
It would be many months and a broken ankle later before Wendy would arrive at Respite, a journey she believes God unfolded for her.
After a fall that severely damaged her ankle, Wendy ended up back at the hospital having to have surgery. When the fall happened, she was at the Rescue Mission working as a core volunteer and putting in 50+ hours a week. It was no wonder her body buckled on her, saying “no” in the only way I imagine Wendy would have listened...