Connecting with Community

Monday, November 11, 2013

I want to tell you what I saw today

Today I see a homeless man walk by me. I stop him and ask him if he would like some snacks. He replies with “boy would I”. I ask him to wait where he is standing and I will run inside and grab a bag of snacks. I return with a small bag of goodies. He gently smiles and at the corner of each eye a small tear makes its way down his face. He is not invisible I see him.
Later in the day I go to a small shelter, for men working on parting with their habits. As I walk in I see clean and well-kept quarters. I ask the gentleman that has invited me in a few questions. Because I hear him I discover food is scarce and snacks are not possible. My heart hurts at what I see. I have food to share. He is not invisible to me I see him.
My last stop before I reach home is at the small church with the red door. I walk in and see remnants of a craft show and I smile at all the pretties as I go by. I reach the closet where food is stored and fill box after box for families in need. Today this will aid a family of 4 with empty cupboards. Father has been ill for weeks and that has caused great need. The children get home from school with no snacks awaiting them and dinner is out of the question. They are not invisible this church sees them.
I see a mother, I see a friend all in the same woman. She is lost in a world of drugs and she feels is invisible to most. I show her love and speak to her in the same way I would speak to my girlfriends. She speaks with a burdened heart, “Why do you talk to me like that?” I reply because you that’s how I talk to people. She reaches to hug me then turns around and walks away. My heart hurts that she feels discarded. Regardless of her behavior she is still somebody’s daughter, she is still somebody’s mother, she is still somebody’s sister and she is still somebody’s friend. She is somebody.
We are so busy that we miss so many things that we should see. I want to challenge you to take a moment and see things that you normally pass by. Luke 10:25-37 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
I know its heavy but it’s also truth, I’m not in the habit of speaking things that tickles ones ears. My Hope requires me to speak truth that causes action. Take a moment to live with intention. Don’t be content with just being alive take it a step further and live intentionally. Choose to smile at someone and perhaps greet someone one as you approach them. Maybe you can make eye contact instead of being distracted by your phone. For at least 90 seconds actively listen in a way that will allow you to connect and when you connect make sure you validate that person’s existence.

Our babies have much to teach us. Please take a few minutes to read what my son Joshua, wrote as a speech when running for student council at his school.

I want to tell you how we can make our school the best ever. I want to tell you that each one of you is important. I want to tell you that you being here is awesome. I want to tell you that what you say and what you do really does matter. I want to tell you that when you smile at someone it makes them feel like they belong. I want to tell you that if you ever feel alone you are not. I want to tell you when you are struggling there is someone here to help you. I want to tell you that what you wear doesn’t matter. I want to tell you that where you live doesn’t matter. I want to tell you that I’ll be your friend no matter what. I want to tell you that together we can make a difference.
But most of all I want to tell you that by looking for what does matter we won’t have time for things that don’t matter. Things like bulling, like making fun of others, like cheating, like lying, like hurting others, help me help you find things that matter.
Joshua Moreno 10 years old Canyon Intermediate School

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