Connecting with Community

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I asked him

My vanity wakes me, it wakes me early. I rise ready to defeat the world.
This summer, I am tasked with the chore of taking my daughter to early morning workouts.
 It is brisk out and we are on our way to practice. I look over at my daughter and
 tell her "this old lady will out do you today." She smiles and responds with a "mom!" 

I barely survive the workout and get ready to head to work.
On my drive in I stop and get my dreaded addiction, Chick-fil-A.
I am feeling good about myself.  I love the feeling of accomplishment so early in the morning.
It brings on an extra dose of cockiness. Head high, shoulders back, I commence my stroll into the building. I am busy thinking about me. Cup in hand and tummy full, I straighten my hair.
I look down to admire my perfectly painted toes. Vanity is present. 

I barely make it in the door when I am brought to a hault, by our lovely receptionist.
She informs me that the gentlemen using the phone needs some help. I wait till he gets off the phone and then I ask him, how I can be of service. He tells me he is in need of a bar of soap and a bottle of shampoo. I ask him to wait in our lobby as I run to our hygiene closet, to retrieve his request.
 I run back into the building, as I reach him I hand him the bag. I ask him to follow me to my office. 

We reach my office and I ask him to sit. I notice how clean he is. I notice there is no vanity there, he is humble and meek. I begin to lose interest in my self and my vanity quickly leaves me. Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

I begin by asking him his name and he gently replies. I ask him about his educational background. He softly tells me "I finished the 7th grade." I ask him what his current struggles are. He takes a moment and then he speaks "I just finished serving 15 years in prison." I pause for a moment, I look up and his gaze is to the floor. My heart aches as I see shame in his posture.
My next question is if he is employed. He reply's with "No one will hire people like me."
I continue to ask him questions. I ask him if he has any type of income. He answers "no".
I ask him where he stays and he quietly responds "my truck."  I ask him where he eats and his voice cracks as he speaks  "I don't like crowds, because it brings back memories of prison."
  He looks up at me and I can see his pain. He speaks again "When I get really hungry  I go to Salvation Army, but most of the time I just don't eat." I observe his sunken cheek bones and his thin stature.

He leaves and I go about my day. All day I am troubled about this one man that will not eat today. I am reminded that many veterans in this business often tell me I can't help everyone. That is not what my heart saids. My heart reminds me that this man is someone's father. This man is someone's child. This man is human. Who am I to deny food to a human. 

It is 5:00 and I go to Wal-mart. I buy some pop tarts, peanut butter and other things that require no cooking.  You could say I made an adult snack pack. I go back to the office and I call him. He answers and I ask if he is near. He tells me he is across the street at the park. I ask him to swing buy and pick up his dinner. I meet him at the door and hand him his goods. He smiles and I feel his spirit.   

 What does that mean any way, "people like me". I want to be a "people like him."  
“Do all the good you can,
 By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”  
John Wesley

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


We had another successful Opportunity Conference.
I had the opportunity to witness a Neighbor win a $50 gift card and because there
was someone at her table that was in more need than she was. She gave her gift card away.
It was a wonderful day with many of the community present. It we will be my
pleasure to  help these families daily and see them succeed little by little.

By Monday I have  recovered and I am quickly making plans to leave town for the week.
I have plans to get on a plane Tuesday afternoon but not  before I
I attend my 18 year old sons funeral.
No it was Not real, it was a mock funeral created by an organization called "every 15 minutes"

Every 15 minutes we lose a loved one as a result of an alcohol related collision.
It was not an experience I care to repeat. My son wanted to take part to help save a life
and me and my husband reluctantly agreed.
My son will graduate this year and he will pursue a life in ministry.
He is a servant and wants to help all people in need.

His death was announced on that Monday. He was taken to a secluded place and we would have no contact with him for over 24 hours.
Even though we knew it wasn't real we couldn't help think what if.  A tombstone with his picture on it was placed in the school cafeteria.
Tuesday as we walk into the school for his mock funeral, they hand us his obituary. It was the worst 15 minutes of my life.
All to show those students, that every thing we do matters to someone somewhere.

I survive and  arrive in San Antonio ready for my first key note experience. I do not use note cards or power point slides.
I prefer to stand and bare my heart to anyone who will listen, but because it is my first keynote, I was uneasy.
 Tuesday at midnight because I felt so unprepared, I decide I would work on tailoring my presentation to their theme
"Planting a Seed and Reaping Success"

Wednesday morning I wake up and run down stairs to print my notes on this new power point I have developed.
All computers in the hotels business center are busy.
I go down several times that day and each time everything is occupied.
Finally it is 2:37 and I am scheduled to speak at 3:00.
Again everything is full.
I notice a young man playing on face book. I'm instantly irritated and yes I approach him.

I ask if he would allow me two minutes on his computer so I can print some notes.
He responds with a glare. I notice a guitar sitting at his side. I ask if he plays, he
picks it up and begins to play and points out that he is missing a string.

My mind is racing and I tell him I  will make him a deal. I tell him that I am about to present to a
large crowd and if he allows me the use of his computer, I will let him be my opening act.
He agrees. I print my notes and off I go up stairs and now I have an entourage.

I stand in front of the crowd before me and explain I want to welcome them , San Antonio style.
I motion for my "band" to take the stage and the crowd goes crazy. Then I explain that I just
met the young man down stairs and the room is quickly filled with laughter.
After this adventure I decided I want to give opportunities when I can to every one I can.
Everything you do matters to someone somewhere somehow

   Elia Moreno