Today as the clouds cover the sky sorrow covers my heart. This afternoon my “Lazy Joe” went home. His struggle in life was always worth all the effort he invested. Everything he did and all he endured was for others. I am a better person for having known him. He is the Lifechanger that taught me how to be a Lifechanger. I am blessed to have had the privilege of serving him and his beautiful family. At this moment I am thankful that my faith allows me to sit here physically unable to speak because of the sorrow that consumes me but at the same time certain of one thing and that is the mercy that Larry received the moment he reached heaven. That’s his real name and there was never anything lazy about him. I only share it to honor him and with the permission of his wife. What if we loved with out words?
My Heart Hurts
I arrive to a stack of folders, emails and messages, all from people seeking a better way of life. I am certain that every single one of them is searching for an opportunity to earn a living wage. Education is what they are in search of but they just can't verbalize it yet.
Later in the day I have lunch with a new friend. I met her when she started contributing to our cause. I arrive late and she doesn't seem to mind. While enjoying our meal we begin to converse. I notice that she seems uncomfortable. I would even say embarrassed. We continue our conversation and I sense she is becoming more uneasy by the minute. My heart takes hold and I begin to understand what it is, I have seen this many times.
I change the conversation by sharing my story. I speak of the times I was in need and she begins to cry. I know it is not my story that brings those tears. I am certain now that need is present. I ask how I can help. She begins to tell me that she is a proud college graduate and she is certain that no one else has gone through what she is facing. I assure her she is wrong. With much shame she speaks of her need and I assure her that there are other proud college graduates that have been through the same struggle.
On my way back to my office I make a quick stop at one of our local Life Changing churches. They truly practice what they preach, "to do unto the least of these". I stop to thank them for funds and like always take the time to share a story. I tell them of our single mother of three. I explain that she was abandoned by her husband. I mention how well she is doing in school and I thank them for providing the funds that will reinstate her electricity and water. Before I leave I assure them that they are building capacity for those in need.
I arrive at my office and another Neighbor is waiting for me. I inform her that a Life Changer has gifted her funds to have her utilities reinstated. She is overwhelmed and so am I. I am overwhelmed with the thought of good Samaritans in this day and age, caring for someone they don't know. Through her tears she says she wishes she could do something to repay them. I tell her she can. I tell her to graduate and someday she will be able to help someone like she has been helped. She assures me she will.
My heart is full. She leaves and I begin to go through my emails. I open one and immediately wish that I had not. As I read I feel as if a dagger has pierced my heart. This email is different it hurts in a different kind of way.
You have to remember most of the time I live in a fairytale. This fairytale of mine is a place where people never say no, when asked to help others. This fairytale of mine is a place where people care about each other, just because they are people. This fairytale of mine is a place where everyone I am surrounded with gives of their excess so others can succeed. This fairytale of mine is a place where the elderly are honored and respected.
This fairytale of mine is a place where children are feed when they are hungry. This fairytale of mine is a place where "every child has the right to be prepared to go to college". Finally this fairytale I live in is a place where the battle on Poverty is being won.
Sometimes I forget that not everyone wants to be good and decent to each other. Well this email reminded me that not everyone lives in my fairytale. This email was from a “gentlemen” who wanted me to know that not everyone wanted to help "Lazy people".
I sit with my face in my hands and I think of what I should reply. Ugliness is beginning to take over. My fingers swoosh across the keyboard and on the screen a clever reply is forming. A reply that will not only pierce this “gentleman's” heart but it will make him feel as if I am twisting the dagger as I insert it. And just when he thinks I am done I would add another small line in my reply. One that would allow him to feel as if I had jerked the dagger back out only to pierce it again. Almost instantly I am reminded of grace and mercy, which are granted to me daily. I am moved to hit delete.
But it doesn’t stop me from trying to explain my actions to God. God “I merely want to share with this fellow”. I want to share with him the story of my big blue eyed curly haired three year old little girl. I want to invite him to spend the day with me. I request just one day. One day so he can meet some of my “Lazy Families” and while in the mist of these "Lazy Families". God “I will ask him to pick one, just one “Lazy Child” that he would refuse food to. I want to invite him to meet my friend "Lazy Joe" a Neighbor that would wake at midnight 6 days a week to walk two hours to catch a bus to work. God “I will explain how on "Lazy Joes" day off he would get up early to stand at man labor to find more work”. God just let me mention to this “gentleman” that for two of those months my "Lazy Joe" did all this with a broken foot.
I am certain that "I will do all the good I can. By all the means I can. In all the ways I can. At all the times I can. To all the people I can. As long as I can".