She walked up and placed her warm hands in my own.

I noticed her smile right away. Her dimples cratered out, one deeper than the other.

“Wow,” I said. “You have beautiful dimples!”

“Oh,” she said shyly. “This one’s not a dimple. It’s a scar from when he pushed me down the stairs.”


My voice cracked and tears filled my eyes as I asked her how I could pray for her.

“I just want to be reunited with my family someday. I miss them.”

I bowed my head, God give me words.

I think I prayed for twenty women at that maximum security prison event in Topeka Friday night. Each one came to me with eyes full of tears, hearts so tender and broken.

Some would say that I held the hands of murderers, thieves and addicts. I would say I held the hands of moms, sisters and daughters. Most of them asked for prayer for those on the outside. “I have five children,” said one woman who looked no older than my daughter. “Please pray that I can pull my life together and be a mom to them.”

By the tenth woman, I had a hard time keeping it together.

So much pain in one room.

Please God, my heart cried, hear their prayers. Heal their hearts, rescue their children, bring hope and life where there is only despair and death.

My prayers seemed too small for the bigness of the hurt.  A drop of grace in a bucket of sorrow.

The woman with the broken dimple stiffened her wrist as I held her hands. She turned one to the side and I glanced down. A long jagged scar marked the inside of her arm.

Scars on the outside, scars on the inside.

I sit with tears in my eyes as I write this blog. I’m feeling a bit like all I did was place a tiny band-aid on their gaping wounds. I feel the weight of their hurt and know that there are thousands and thousands just like them all around this country, all around this world.

It makes me cry.

God, use those of us who are able, to scoop up the wounded and hurting. Show us how to love with all of our hearts. Maybe if we each extend a drop of grace, their buckets will fill to overflowing. Maybe if we each apply a tiny band-aid, we can bind up their wounds. Maybe if we each carry one soul into God’s throne room, He can wrap his arms around them there… and turn their broken dimples into joy.

Oh Lord, may it be so.

6 Responses

  1. Thank you Elsa. I read it with tears in my eyes to my four daugthers, whom I hope will grow up to reach others for Christ.

  2. The Spirit of the Lord GOD went inside Topeka’s women’s facilities. He was with us, Elsa!! He was present this weekend. The LORD anointed us all to bring good news to the poor, the women in Topeka. He sent us into those facilities for a plan He had and He will and is binding up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives of Topeka, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; He is bringing comfort to those who mourn; moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. He will give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, there was a planting of the LORD that took place in Topeka this weekend, that He may be glorified. In Him we know these beautiful women will build up the ancient ruins; He shall raise up the former devastations; He shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. (Isaiah 61)

  3. Thanks for sharing such a God-filled, heart-wrenching post. Your experience becomes our experience and I am motivated to look at things in a new way.

  4. Elsa,
    I know exactly what you are experiencing. While doing the Celebrate Recovery and Support Group ministries I see so many women who have such deep wounds and scars that I often feel so overwhelmed and wonder if I’m making any difference in their lives with my simple words and prayers….However, every now and then God is so gracious to allow me to see some positive changes in their lives that keeps me going…I pray more Christians will reach out to women like this and believe that God loves them as much as He loves us and so desperatley wants to use us to let them know this…..

  5. Dear Elsa,

    Thank you so much for letting us see this side of you. I have always believed that God is “The God of all comfort.” and yet the physical touch and the eyes filled with tears of compassion are so important as well. Thank you for being His hands and eyes and voice to those women. May many be drawn to Him through you. Thank you for going where many of us cannot go.

  6. Elsa, it was a joy to meet you at the Topeka event and spend the two Daughters of Destiny events watching the women connect with you and God’s message to them. God puts us in the places where he wants us, if we only listen and obey. I NEVER thought I would ever be a part of a ministry such as this. I just hope that some of the love I channel through the keyboard can be felt by the women. I know the messages that I hear, and scars and the tears I see on the women encourage me to not always take the easy road. Thank you for doing what you do and the commitment you have sharing the beauty and love of our Lord to others.

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