Exasperated, spouting machine-gun fire speech, our latest Sunday afternoon guest at Paz Coffee Shop was pouring out her heart to us.

Powerfully intelligent, very capable in English, her high-level recollection of recent local incidents in Roppongi and remembrance of other events left her teary eyed and visibly shaken.

Things were winding down after our exciting Encounter retreat weekend, it was about 1:30 pm. Our family group discussions were ending and sleepiness was setting in when she rushed up to the threshold of our community.

She was petitioning for a particular audience.

Seeing our new guest needed help and suspecting a connection with Choose Life, a good friend who greeted her at the door waved me over to talk with her.

Our new Japanese friend (who I will call Hana), was seeking asylum, looking for shelter in our sin-tangled world. Hana was painfully aware of encroaching darkness.

Hana’s attention to the world, her confession, confusion, and hurt stung my heart.

I tried to keep up with her thoughts, asking few questions.

She ventured to ask mid-conversation, β€œDo you think I’m scary?”
Empathetic with her position and the hurt in her eyes, I offered, β€œNo, I don't.”

Everything she had mentioned up to that point only indicated her depth of compassion and illuminated her heart full of concern for others.

I couldn't help but notice her tight grasp on the vital parts of our reality than many never acknowledge. While many have only blind eyes when seeing sin, evil, and its effects; clearly my friend does not.

I felt her pain. Her response to evil and death was considerable anguish and constant prayer to God. Listening I again attempted piecing together her struggle. Still not comprehending fully her subject, I understood the mass emotional effect. We wept.

The heart of Christ came through despite my uncertainty on what to do.

Speechless, praying for wisdom I finally said: β€œI cannot bring you peace, but I believe that God can and he wants to. How can I pray for you?”

So, I prayed with a sister on Sunday. Our other pastors in our community rallied around her to intercede at different times that day as well.

In the beginning, she said her allegiance was to Jesus as Lord. πŸ™ŒπŸ»

God's peace be with you Hana, and the rest of you friends.