Connecting with Community

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Educator

So yesterday on my way home, I begin thinking of all that waits for me at home dinner, laundry, dishes. 
I quickly become overwhelmed. I glance over at my day’s unfinished work, as it sits in the passenger seat beside me.
How will I fit it all in? Why am I so behind? What has caused my day to fly by?  I quickly remember an MRI this morning.
My runner has an injured knee and instead of being a Lifechanger this morning, I spent time being a mommy.

In my thoughts my list continues to grow. I see the turn off ahead and take it knowing Wal-Mart will soon be in sight.
I park and hurry inside. I grab a crooked cart and head to gather items, for an event I am attending tomorrow morning.
I have picked up speed and I am now shopping like they are giving away the stuff I throw in my basket.

I look at the time and my heart stops. It is 6:02 and I remember I have a speaking engagement at 6:00.
I rush like a mad woman and head towards the register. I want to leave the basket and rush out the door but I don’t
want to cause the employees more work. I decide I will pay for what I have in the basket and then return for the rest.

I pick up my cell and dial the place where I will be speaking. I instantly notice a missed call from that number.  My hearts sinks.
I dial anyway and as I hear a hello, I begin to apologize and assure her of my arrival. Next I call my husband and
explain that I will not be home for dinner. Then I call my daughter and tell her to meet me in town with my material in hand.
My quest for the next 3 minutes is to reach my destination.
My hair looks much like a birds nest and I decide I probably don’t smell too good by this time of the day.
All of the sudden I’m hungry, thirsty and suddenly have to visit the ladies room as well. 
Oh no, I have a family that is awaiting groceries.
The educator, I text her and inform her that I will have to meet her after my speaking is done.
She replies with “no problem”.

I arrive and apologize for my tardiness. I relax when I see that I am merely missing the meal portion of this program.
I sit and regroup while I wait for my turn to speak. I think of my shopping and the family I will be shopping for.
I connected with her earlier and asked that she send me a list of the things she is in need of. I pick up my phone to review her list.  
Her list includes bread, milk, ham and chips. I read it again and decide that isn’t good enough. I have a problem with this humble list.
You see this woman is an educator. She spends her days pouring in to our children and four items, no not good enough.
This family has been doing without because they hit a rough patch and it just isn’t right that they continue to do without.

They give me the floor and I begin to speak. I stand before an audience of individuals that seem quite bewildered by my very presence.
I believe there is concern. Rest assured it is nothing my heart can't fix. I start with “My White Skirt”.
I tell of a battered woman, her abusive husband, her children and their survival. I speak of the children’s brokenness and of
of my own brokenness. I explain that I can not be silent. I tell them that I must speak, for those that can not speak for themselves.
I speak of Hope and I see tears. A cloud begins to fill the room, one of compassion and motivation.

I am no longer a stranger, I now belong. 
I am part of this family. I am accepted and it is no longer I but we.
I finish up, express my thanks and bid my farewell.

I leave to connect with my educator. I ask her to meet me a Wal-Mart. I want her to  pick out what she needs.
We go in the store and she asks like a child if she can have a piece of sausage. My heart aches as I respond “yes”. My humble sweet educator
has reached a point where she has to ask for food. I weaken. We walk a little further and again she asks permission. 
The ache that began in my heart now covers my body.

I am humbled by her kindness and her humility. I am honored to take part in this giving. She assures me that this too shall pass.
I thank her for having the courage to call. I assure her that everything will be held in confidence. I hug her and we head to our homes.

I get in my car and I thank God for all the need I have had in my life. I thank God for empathy and compassion.
I am suddenly thankful for dinner, laundry and dishes.


If we feed everyone we can,  If we clothe with the best that we have
and we give all that we have
but don't do it in love, we've done nothing.


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