Naiya is a girl who sells magazines. I met her when I answered the doorbell.
She was thirsty and tired, she'd had a long day. With few words she had volumes
to tell. At the end of her door to door journey, I was a quest for her quota to
meet. She looked liked a child, but I quickly learned that she was a mother
herself. She accepted my offer to come in for a seat. Her mother died when she
was nine. Naiya lived in her grandmother's trailer. Punishment consisted of a
locked corner room when Naiya disobeyed or failed her. She watched my son as she
sipped her water, sadly telling me of her boy, that he is five years old and lives
with his dad. To be with him would bring her great joy.
As we sat in the kitchen, I noticed a bracelet that Naiya wears on her right
wrist. It bears the initials W.W.J.D. What message, I wondered, did those letters
hide? And so, to change the subject a little, I asked her what they meant. She
looked at me sweetly and fumbling to remove it answered, "What Would Jesus Do?" She
explained that it is a gift to be given to the person who inquires about its meaning.
She told me she had used it to remind herself when she looks at the world and needs
I told her I couldn't take it from her, that is was special to her and should be
kept. She silently agreed and went on to lament the time she turned to it when a woman
warned her, "Nigger, get off my front step!"
By the time she left, I'd purchased a subscription. I wish I could have done more.
She thanked me for the water and conversation and headed out the door.
To a hard world I do not know, a young mother, when puzzled and without a clue,
clutches a tattered wristband and whispers to herself, "What Would Jesus Do?"
-Danielle Boes, Rochester Hills, MI