Tag Archives: encounter

Encounter outside a church

As I left my singing group last night with a few other members, we found outside the church a young Asian woman kneeling down and sobbing her heart out. After a while we got some kind of story out of her about her Algerian friend (possibly boyfriend) being arrested, and how there had been a fight but he was innocent, and he was homeless, and she had to go and get him from the police station and take him to her flat, but she had no money because she hadn’t been to the post office, and she didn’t know his real name so how could she ask at the police station, and she didn’t know which station he’d been taken to…

She seemed completely genuine, was obviously very upset, but eventually we got her calmed down enough to decide what she was going to do, and gave her some money for the bus to the police station. One member of our group thought the money would go straight into drugs, but I didn’t believe she was conning us. Still, there was some mystery around why, if she was so involved with him as to be in floods of tears, she didn’t know his real name – only that he was Algerian. Was this an illegal immigration matter? Or had he been picked up as a potential terrorist? Most probably it was just a matter of breaking up a fight.

What chaotic lives some people lead… I can’t help wondering if my life could ever have been like that. And the honest answer is, at times it could, when I was single and living alone, and meeting some very dubious men along the way. But I had a supportive family and good friends, whereas she seemed to be alone and helpless. She did seem to know the vicar of the church where we were meeting, so perhaps she had some connection there. I promised to pray for her, but I will probably never see her again to find out how it all worked out. All one can do in these situations is reassure the person that it will.