Dear Friends, Drodzy Przyjaciele, Cari Amici,

About two months ago I encountered a woman outside a coffee shop and we have met a few times since then.  She is in her thirties, but she looks decades older and is probably the most painfully ravaged looking human beings that I have ever known.

Since the day I first met her, she has never left the back of my mind and the image of her face and eyes haunts me.  I have seen people who are starving to death, I have seen people who were literally beaten to death, I have seen a man frozen to death, I have seen many, many people who were ravaged by cancer, and AIDS, and other illnesses.  I cared for a woman with such dreadful bedsores (the size o dinner plates) that her flesh was rotting and the stench was unbearable.

I have seen people ravaged by alcoholism and drug addiction, mental illness, abuse and neglect.

But Katie’s pain and her beauty has knocked me over inside.

Her story is complicated and awful. She was taken away from her mother as a toddler and lived in dozens of foster homes.  She was beaten and abused in many of those homes.  Her adult life seems to be just a long string of the same kind of existence…homeless and hungry, scrawny, no teeth, and clothing that hangs on her like rags.

She has a son who is sickly, whom she adores and does everything she can to care for him and get him help.  I met him, too.

Katie has bright blue eyes that shine with love and acceptance and willingness and generosity.  I don’t know exactly how to describe what I want to say, and I want to say this very respectfully and carefully, out of love and admiration for Katie.  But it is as if you saw a person who was physically  frightening to look at because of such severe forms of disfiguration, disease and wounds, but they had the most Alarmingly Beautiful Eyes that were like Blue Diamonds and the Light that sparkled through them infused you with powerful jolts of Divine Presence.

That is my experience of encountering Katie.

I have done what I can to assist her, but I do not have the means to make a huge difference in her circumstances.  I want to rescue her.  I want to rescue her son. I want to give them my little apartment to live in.  I want to buy her a new wardrobe and get her to a dentist who get her some teeth.  I want to make her son well.  I want to heal her shattered and tattered and battered body and mind. I want to make sure no one ever beats her again.  I want to get her professional help of every kind.  I know I cannot do all that.  I also know there are millions upon millions of Katie’s in the world who need this much help.  I was once one of them, and I was one of the rare ones who really and truly got out of the prison, out of the cycle, out of the insanity and suffering of it all.  But I cannot make it happen for anyone else.

I know that the most important thing I can do is what I am doing:  I welcome her into my life and my heart as she is. I help her with my modest means to do that, as I can.

I do not try to fix her, or her life. I just love her and let her love me. I will be friends with Katie forever, I know that, for sure.

And in my soul, I kneel down and am humbled  and eternally grateful that I have been touched by God, who has appeared to me  in *“The distressing disguise of the poor.”    (*Mother Theresa of Calcutta)

With My Love,  Z Moją Miłością,  Con il Mio Amore,

I Remain,

Gabriel Orion Marie

* For those of you who may not know, I have published a series of three books that tell the story of my recovery and healing from profoundly intense physical, sexual and spiritual abuse. These books have dozens of paintings that I did during my process and those paintings are a core form of communication I used in my Healing. These books are available on Amazon. I hope you will read them and pass them on to others!     This White House (Book One), Going Sane (Book Two) and A Spectacular Dawn (Book Three)