One of the best things about finding someone else who does what we do is that suddenly that feeling of lost wandering evaporates.  At The Special Gathering, which is a ministry within the mentally challenged community, we are exceptionally blessed because I can pick up the phone and communicate with three or four people who are fully employed in ministry with persons who are developmentally delayed.  However, Special Gathering isn’t the norm but the exception. 

Reality slaps you in the face when you find another person who is struggling out in the hinterlands and can’t believe that anyone else cares.  I found two lovely souls yesterday who are doing a wonderful work.  One woman has had a group home in our area for almost twenty years.  Somehow, she has stayed off the radar for all these years.  I found her yesterday.   I inquired if we could have lunch.  “Oh, I would have to bring my residents,” she said sheepishly. 

“I’d love that,”  I said.

At once her face brightened, “You would?  Then I can go.  You name the time.” 

After that encounter I went to lunch with a delightful woman from Washington DC who is working within the mentally challenged community.  She is Catholic whose program is in an Episcopal church in the District.  (This kind of cooperation is normal within our circles.)  She holds a Prayer and Pizza night once a month and a social the other weeks.  She is a speech therapist who could not walk away from the spiritual needs of people who are cognitively disabled.   

Chattering like teenager girls, we were full of questions for each other.  She asked,  “How did you get so many supporting churches?  How do you work with so many different denominations?  Why aren’t you teaching the rest of us how to do what you are doing?”    She took lots of notes and promised to e-mail all of us. 

I left the fast food restaurant understanding her loneliness.  I’m sure it’s the same feeling that missionaries in a foreign country would have when they encounter someone doing a similar work. 

I’m reminded of a simple story about a young child who began to scream when the thunder and lightning flashed during a storm.  His mother came into the dark room.  Putting her arms around him and holding him tightly, she comforted him, “You know Jesus is always with you.  You don’t have to be afraid.”

“I know,” the youngster replied, “but I need a skin face.” 

God understands that skin faces are important to all of us.  And what a blessing it is to find another skin face in the middle of the dark storm of life.

Have there be times that you have felt loneliness in the middle of a stormy spiritual battle?  Have you been able to find a skin face who can reflect the love of Jesus for you during that time?