The Most Frightened I’ve Ever Been

I was working all three jobs that weekend and studying my science work. That Saturday morning, I was putting samples together for the customers at Walmart with my apron and hat on at the booth. Then later I went to the John Paul Jones Arena to do security for RMC Events to work a game at UVA. On each break, I would study my science and then off to Walmart that night work third shift. Same thing for Sunday for my weekend routine, so in that time, I got about two hours of sleep and catnaps during breaks.

So Monday morning comes, and my cousin Cheryl noticed how tired I looked. I told her I had class in Harrisonburg at National College for science class, because it was my bachelors program first semester. She begged me not to go, but I said I’m driving to a four-hour class, that I’ll be fine, and I went.

I found myself nodding off in class and went to get something to eat, because we had a test that day. I ate the pizza and got back in the car back to Charlottesville, because I had to work at Walmart. I fell asleep behind the wheel about 30 miles away from town. I woke up heading toward two boulders and hit them. My car flipped and I blacked out before landing. As I landed, I said “Oh my GOD! I’m not ready to die!”

Ever since, I cannot remember what I learned at National College. This happened a week before graduation with my associates degree in May 2011.

Written at The Haven by Robert Payne on April 7, 2016.


The Winds

Long time ago,

the wind blew

through and full.

It blew so hard

you couldn’t see

where you had to go.

I’m talking many,

many years ago,

long before me

and you knew.

God bless you

and the winds

to come through.

And that’ll do.


Written at The Haven by Paul Douglas on April 7, 2016.


I’m worried about finding a room for rent in my price range. I know God is going to fix my situation. I love sharing and giving to other people and helping people.

I used to sing in the church choirs. When I go to church and when I feel the anointing, I stand up and praise God. I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’ve been raped twice and molested several times a long time ago. I was married for 14 years to a jealous husband who beat me. I’ve been divorced 18 years now. I thank God for saving me in 1993.

My husband and his girlfriend, they were at the juke joint. He started beating on her and she shot him twice. I was in town visiting a friend with my girlfriend. My sister-in-law found me and told me my husband had been shot. Then I took the Greyhound bus to Hampton, VA and told my girlfriend not to give my husband my address. So he came to the church where I was on my knees having prayers. He asked to see me outside with his sister to beg me to come back to him. Later he came to my girlfriend’s house. Then he told me, “I’m gonna take you off and kill you.” He was too stingy to pay for a lawyer for a divorce, so he went through Legal Aid and filed a legal separation and for a divorce.

I’m happy and content with God’s grace and mercy.

Written at The Haven by Keswatha “Keke” Lewis on March 10, 2016.


I’m not someone who doesn’t “Bleed”

I’m not someone who doesn’t “Hurt”

I’m not someone who doesn’t “See”

I’m not someone who doesn’t Smile











Written at the Haven by Justina Dooms on February 25, 2016.

A Place That I Visualize!!

I’m not on this planet. I’m not on any other. But there are clouds of Love, happiness, smiles, and good thoughts. When you walk, your feet feel as if you have none.

When you sit down, everything is soft as cotton. The food has a taste that only you can desire. When you put on your clothes, they feel as fresh and soft as any word can say.

But the place has NO





Roller skates

You just glide when you walk.

You just smile all the time.

You never say a bad word


have a bad thought. Some people

say or think that I’m talking about


Some people just don’t know. But I’m just talking about how I wish life could be for you and me.

Written at the Haven by Justina Dooms on February 25, 2016.


Girls wearing a ribbon in their hair. They watch

a butterfly in the air. They wait for an opportunity

to take a photograph while in the field behind the stairs.

The butterfly flies closer to the girls and sits on the ribbon.

One of the girls takes a photograph for their class.

As they walk through the field, the butterfly lures them

to a garden that sits beside a creek. The sounds of the

water runs like time as they meditate to relax and unwind.

The instructor follows behind, then tells the girls it’s time to dine.

Then the instructor realizes time has flown and tells the girls they

have to go back to school. They grab their things and run

imagining flapping their arms like the butterfly.


Written at The Haven by Robert P. on February 25, 2016.


The Closest I’ve Ever Felt to God

At the time I was doing 16 years in prison. I was feeling all alone. No one to trust behind those walls, and trying to work hard to stay away from trouble.

Sun beam - Dr. Knox - Flickr

Sun beam – Dr. Knox – Flickr

You see, prison is a city of its own. They have one little town where they have one store for food, one store for clothes, one restaurant, one school, one gym, one everything. But there are many jobs.

After being there four years, things in my mind started growing for the better. But I knew that I was missing something. So first I started doing Bible study.

Then I started church.

Then I started in the choir.

Five years later I got some bad news. Everyone in my family started dying. First it was my father, then my mother, my twin brother, my other brother, one after the other. Then something set my mind in a different dimension. I realized that going home was not going to be the same. So I flipped out. I went crazy, and the devil put me in a place that I didn’t know I was capable of.

So while being put in solitary confinement all alone, I talked with God about everything I’ve done in my whole life. Personal things that I thought were a secret. And I prayed and cried, asking God not to hate me and to please look out for my children and grandchildren.

One night while doing my Bible studies, I was in a bad, bad way. So I talked to God, and that night when I went to sleep, I had the strangest dream. I was walking down this street, and on both sides of me there was this strange light. When I go to the dead end, He was standing there.

He said, Wash my feet before you talk to me.

It was so clear and I felt so different. I wasn’t scared. I was shocked. Then He said, I have been taking care of your children. Now it’s your turn, and don’t let me down.

The next day I was told that I was being given early release with no parole.

I’ve been home for nine years, and I talk to My God every day. We walk together.

Talk together.



I know that He is real and I am highly blessed and well favored.


Written at the Haven by Justina Dooms on November 12, 2015.