Connecting with Community

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Your Amazing

Tonight was my last night with what I call "My Therapy Group".  Eight weeks ago I began teaching a Faith Based Poverty Training at a local church or rather this group began teaching me eight weeks ago. Selfishly I have used them to listen to my weeks mishaps. Every week without fail they have listened with encouragement while using no words. They have grown to listen with absolutely no judgment. I am thankful for the lessons we have learned together.

My heart hurts as I will no longer have my weekly "therapy session". It has been awhile since I blogged because I have had actual people to share my stories with.  This group of poverty experts will change this world one person at a time.

Today at the office my hero, Pam, buzzes my office. I answer and she tells me I have a visitor up front. I walk up front and right away I notice an unkept man. I greet him and slowly approach him. I start with asking "how I can help you today?". He tells me a friend of his receives a bar of soap and a razor once a month and he just wants to know if I could help him as well. I tell him we focus on families with children but I can refer him to a place around the corner. I catch my self as I am placing yet another barrier in this mans life. I tell him to wait a minute while I run to the warehouse to see what I can find. I run outside and the strong wind strikes my face as I have just struck this man with my strong words, "we focus on families with children". The cold wind chills my body and I imagine how this man might feel having no choice but to endure it. At this moment I am certain no wind could chill a body as I just have, by wanting to refuse him a razor and a bar of soap. The courage it took for him to walk into a place like this only to be crushed by my unwillingness to help. He never lifted his head as he spoke, hopeless and full of shame.

 I make it to the ware house and find a backpack that I can gift this man. I choose carefully and fill this bag with things that I think he might use. My heart is heavy as I realize I almost blew it with this one. I return to the office and I hand him an ugly blue colored back pack. He smiles and looks at it as I do when I buy a new pair of shoes. My heart breaks as he is thrilled that I have helped him. I thank him for stopping by. He stumbles and I can tell he wants to shake my hand but he hesitates. May be he thinks I wouldn't want to shake his. I extend my hand and he smiles so bright it lightens the room. I bless him and he leaves a different man. I am certain I have gifted Hope in this persons life.

I walk to my office and minutes later Pam walks in with tears in her eyes and all she can mutter is "that man". Her heart is inside out at the thought of this man not having any place to go. She felt his shame and truly understood his need. His eyes told his story and again I am in love with people. I hold her as she cries with simply sincere love for another. If only we could all love so innocently.

My Jacob went with me to my last "therapy session". He sits and listens intently as if this is the first time he hears me speak. Our class is over and we gather our things. We bid our farewells and head towards the door. He holds the door for me and we make it outside. He turns to me and gently whispers, "your amazing".  My heart hurts as it remembers how unamazing I was this morning, as I almost turned away a man that asked for a bar of soap and a razor.

We are headed to meet a neighbor in the parking lot of a nearby school. She called this morning and is just tore up that she is struggling to take her child to a local hospital for clinicals. This program that her daughter is in will allow her to graduate certified as a CNA or an EMT. What a great way to graduate high school. She tells me that she picks up two other girls that are in the same program but have no way to get to the hospital. I am floored once again at the generosity of people like this lady that is giving out of her need. Again my heart reminds me that earlier today I didn't want to give out of my surplus. My heart hurts and a lesson is learned.

I call her and it is now a little after 8:00. She agrees to meet us. We arrive and my Jacob spots her car in this darkness. I get out and go to shake her hand. She begins to cry and then  she speaks, "thank you I appreciate you helping someone like me". I grab her and hold her tightly, my Jacob turns away as he can not bear such pain. She doesn't see her own beauty. I tell her what a privilege it is to meet her and I tell her what a great thing she is doing by helping these young students gain a skill. I assure her this will certainly ensure them a way to earn a living wage. She is short $25 a week in fuel because of taking these students to their clinicals. They have only 10 weeks left. I assure you, rain sleet or shine I will raise the money to ensure the success of these three young lives.

We load the food and she reaches to hug me. I hold her tight and whisper "your amazing".

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