Saturday, April 5, 2008

Heroes: Donna K. Wallace

Anais Nin said, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Meet Donna Wallace. She represents a whole world in you, a world you never knew before you knew her, a world that you never would have known without her. Many a troubled and weary traveler have I introduced to my friend Donna, and many a traveler walked away refreshed and healed, continuing on with a new and hopeful perspective about their journey and themselves.
I usually just drop them off with her and then go find Jaime to talk about new music he’s found, or find Cierra and Spencer and hang out with them for a while. I am confident that my friend in need is with a friend indeed. I bring them in black and white, and they leave in high-definition techni-color.
How many people have I brought to her throughout the years? I’m not sure. It’s not in the hundreds or anything. But they come away distinctly different after they meet her. Envision a conveyor belt with flower pots going along with dark, droopy flowers with their hanging heads down low. Imagine them entering the Donna Machine and coming out on the other side so colorful, vibrant, and full of life with their petals reaching up to the sunny sky.
That’s what Donna does to a person.
I don’t know how she does it, but she does it. I remember her upstairs in my loft with a good friend of mine. Donna was working her magic—I was doing the dishes. My friend flew downstairs with tears streaming down her face. She said, “You remember this day, Daisy Martin! You remember this day!”
“Why is that, darling?”
“Because this is the day that I had a Comin’ to Jesus moment with Miss Donna Wallace! This is the day that I became a different person!”
“That’s kinda what she does…” I replied knowlingly.
I have another good friend who lamented with me about hurdles too high for her to overcome. I said, “I know a gal…” We made a road trip to Bozeman for a much needed dose of Donna. My friend came back with those hurdles dropped down to a most manageable height.
I thank God every day for my proximity to Donna. The world that was expanded in me when I met her was intimacy and health—her specialties. She commands a certain transparency with people. She knows when you’re lying, and she just laughs. You’re not lying to her, after all. Only to yourself. She’ll gently remind you of that and your whole demeanor will change because now you can admit that you had really known it all along. The transparency that she brings out in you quickly lends itself to healing and peace. With one compassionate touch and an economy of words, she opens up a whole new world for you and sends you on your way.
Donna is my hero because she has honed the craft of compassion to perfection. Safety is certainly my love language, and I know my friends are as safe with her as I am—impenetrably. She reflects a mere image of God, but He is as clear in her as I’ve ever seen and to look at her is to look at Him. Jesus said that we would do greater things than even He did. Knowing Donna has given me hope that such a crazy notion is even possible.
Donna, my friend, from your heart flows an eternal spring of hope for the broken hearted. You are a sanctuary for me and for all those I care about. I love you. Thank you for pouring your life into those of us who needed to have our worlds opened up.