It took courage for Gracie Wen to come to the United States from China, but a deep hunger brought her here. An American customer, Sandi, had befriended her over the phone, and Sandi had something she wanted—joy. When she discovered Sandi’s joy came from knowing Jesus Christ, she came to know Him as well. She would need Him in the difficult times to come.
Living with her new spiritual parents, Sandi and Andy, the three shared many adventures and enjoyed the sweetness of a loving community. Unfortunately, the standard conditions of her visa required her to return to China, and she has not yet been able to return to America. She deeply misses those she has come to love but now shines brightly as she labors to support her parents at home.
Gracie has an uncanny ability to draw near to people and they welcome her. Sandi once said of Gracie, “I think one reason people give her so much latitude in boundaries is because she gives them a sense of their lost innocence. It was as if part of her had never experienced forbidden fruit, she knew nothing of evil, and she truly believed the best in everyone. For all she’s been through, she’s still surprised when someone hurts her. Maybe that’s how she copes with trauma. Maybe that’s her world of pink bubbles, round corners, and soft edges. Maybe. But she’s a gift to people in every warm, genuine, cotton candy hug.”
When I interviewed Gracie, I pictured a stream flowing through the forest bringing life to everything she touches. She is a life-giver and everyone she meets feels it. Her name perfectly describes her. She needed to hear that and I wanted her music to remind her of this daily.
piano by John Albert Thomas
artwork by Sandi Dawn