Exception to the Rule
*Kimmie isn’t your typical Nail Day participant. Her bold red hair, sparkling rainbow cap, and imaginative ensembles make her hard to miss. Her effervescent enthusiasm and cataract of greetings make her hard to forget. Kimmie is the first in line for Nail Day at the YWAM base every Monday, and she is the first participant with whom volunteer Cheney Beshara formed a real connection.
A Texas transplant who specializes in painting pet portraits, Cheney was introduced to BJM through her church. She attended BJM’s Christmas party last December and began volunteering in January. “I was looking for a way to serve in the community and it seemed like a natural fit,” says Cheney, who used to the paint nails of seniors in Texas. “It’s a different kind of painting than what I usually do, and I really like that.”
Nail Day has become a regular part of Cheney’s weekly rhythm, and so have her conversations with Kimmie. “I can’t imagine Nail Day without her,” Cheney says. “It would be a really different experience.” Though Kimmie was already a regular when Cheney showed up, she singled the artist out, and then returned to her station week after week.
“She likes to have me do special designs,” says Cheney. “Lines and zig zags, a W for the Warriors, or something she finds on Pinterest.” At the same time that Cheney has been learning about Kimmie’s preferences—her favorite colors are pinks and blues, she likes the Back Street Boys and playing pool—she has also been learning about Kimmie’s life—her estrangement from her family and desire for a soul mate.
“She’s really open to having me pray for her,” says Cheney. “Sometimes she asks if she can pray for me too.” One of Kimmie’s primary requests has been to for safety. It’s a common request and essential need for many of the women who come to Nail Day.
“She’d been living in a tent and people kept stealing her things,” says Cheney. “We prayed for her safety, and then for maybe three weeks she wanted to pray for a van.” Cheney always believed God was watching over Kimmie. Still, she was surprised in early June to hear that Kimmie’s prayer had been answered—not with a van, but with a studio all her own.
“We hadn’t thought to pray for housing,” says Cheney. “We didn’t even think it was an option.” BJM celebrated God’s provision with a house warming party at the Well. The following Monday at Nail Day, Kimmie asked Cheney to pray for furniture. Within a week that prayer also was answered through an unlikely Craigslist posting. “I can’t believe it,” Kimmie told Cheney. “I got everything I need in one place, and all for free.”
Parts of Kimmie’s life are changing, but she is still one of the first women in line every Monday. She and Cheney continue their conversations about her life and God’s love for her. Kimmie tells Cheney she wants pink Christmas lights for her new home. She wants to make it a space that is as unique as Kimmie herself. But though Kimmie may be an exceptional person, God’s work in her life is par for the course. The crew at BJM see signs and wonders like this each day. They are as specific and special as the women who walk through the door, but God’s faithfulness for his beloved is the rule, not the exception.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the women in our community.