The HuffPo’s recent story from their Night We Met series spotlights a couple whose flame sparked under some strange and unfortunate circumstances. Deven, a down & out former serviceman and Ressurrection a struggling massage therapist and entrepreneur found each other in a homeless shelter in Virginia a few years ago.
After having lost her massage center, then her home to foreclosure (on the heels of a terminated relationship), Ressurrection Graves officially became house-less. As the story goes, in August of 2011 Ressurrection slept outside of the homeless shelter in her car while waiting for a bed to open up. Once it did, it was nothing short of fate that brought the pair together. In Deven’s words:
It was a stormy night when Ressurrection came into the homeless shelter. There was something different about her. She had a serious face — a protective wall because of the environment and the uncertainty of others’ intentions, I’m sure. Still, I felt her warm spirit. She was a beautiful woman with a glow.
I tried to speak to her that night. I asked her name, and she asked why I needed to know that information. I kept watching her. Our eyes connected a few times. Every time our eyes locked, it felt like everything else paused, like time was standing still or something. That night, I couldn’t stop thinking about her.
The next morning, she went to the front desk to ask about washing her clothes, but they wouldn’t let her. So I offered to wash them for her. I wanted to be there for her. She seemed appreciative and offered to review and update my resume. So I offered to buy her lunch.
On our first lunch date, she picked me up and we went to McDonalds to use some coupons that were given to me. I still remember what she ordered — a fish sandwich, no tartar sauce, fries and orange juice. It was raining so hard that day that we could not see in front of us. We ate and talked for three hours in the car. We talked about everything — our lives and experiences. We talked about her goals and she mentioned her favorite memorial in D.C., and I shared about places I liked to go. We talked about how we became homeless.
We had so much in common. She had such a joyful, peaceful spirit. She didn’t cuss and fuss. She was genuine and beautiful and really listened to me.
After that lunch date in the car during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, I felt like my prayers were being answered. I was praying for someone like-minded who loved God and cared about people in the way that I do. It felt like confirmation that God made Ressurrection especially for me.
According to Ressurrection:
After getting into the shelter, I kept asking God why I was there. He said plainly that I was to look for selflessness. Then Deven came along.
He approached me after overhearing that the people at the shelter were not allowing me to wash my clothes, and he offered to wash them for me. At first I was skeptical of his intentions — I wondered if he was some crazy guy wanting to check out my underwear.
Our first date wasn’t what I would call a real “first date.” I didn’t have him take me to a fancy restaurant — he had no money. We sat in the car and ate McDonalds. I hate McDonalds but he had a coupon and I had no money either. We talked about life and relationships, why we were homeless, what our hopes were. We tried to end the date several times but we couldn’t. Even when it was over, we really didn’t want it to end.
We talked for several weeks. I was thinking about being with him, but there was a lot I needed to figure out first. He approached me one day and said, “I want to be more than friends.”
It wasn’t a line. I told him that I could be his gift when he left the shelter. We left together a week or so later.
Deven and Ressurrection took their vows on August 28, 2013 – the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington. The theme of the wedding was “I Had a Dream, and It Came True,” HuffPo reports. For their wedding reception, the inspired loved ones fed the homeless at a park in D.C.
Ressurrection is currently using her powers of resilience as a child sexual abuse expert and H.E.A.L.E.R.: Healer; Educator; Activist; Life Skills Expert; Empowerment Speaker; Relationship Mentor. She explains, “I write for all men who can not articulate in words their internal sufferings, who cannot organize their thoughts to share their journey. This is why I came. I was predestined to help people come back to themselves and inspire healed people to heal people.” Learn more about her work here.