Today, I had a meeting at a discreet location in a women’s shelter. There was no sign and the house was off the road down a long driveway. Blink and you would miss the driveway and the house couldn’t be seen from the road. The meeting was one of our county’s Community Action Board which is made up of several organizations who partner together to reach as many families in need and/or in crisis as possible.
The leader of the house was a nice woman who talked softly but her love for the women in the house was obvious. The women who are enrolled there are from all backgrounds, religions, and nationalities. Some have experienced abuse at the hands of others and some abused themselves. Under the roof of this home, however, all were welcomed, loved and given the skills to start life anew with a sense of belonging and purpose.
Written on a huge dry erase board were the rules of the house, encouragement and motivational sayings, practical applications of the lessons being taught to those who stayed in the home. On one board, almost in the middle was the name of the leader and one of the tenants wrote; “She rocks!” I thought this was awesome. Here is a woman who has given her life to helping those in need. It did not go unappreciated.
I hope each of us can find a place where we can offer love, kindness, time, patience and give worth to those whom life has overlooked or discarded.
I was talking with a staff member today about how expensive the dentist can be when you need them. Loans and payment plans are often required when you have a major procedure.
My co-worker then shared with me a free service offered by dentists, doctors and optometrists to those who can’t afford services, lack insurance or both. These professionals come to a city, set up their equipment and for several days help as many folks as possible. It is not unheard of for people to get in line for these free resources hours or days before the service times begin.
Most of us aren’t doctors, dentists and optometrists but we each have gifts to offer, talents to enact, service to give. The key is focusing on who you are, what you can do. There are hurting ones all around us and if we see ourselves as having gifts to give then perhaps our eyes will be opened to those who are in need.
This morning I participated in a meeting where all the members present had chosen to be there, to work together for the good of others. There were law enforcement officials, mental health advocates, spiritual leaders and more. Each brought special gifts, talents, expertise and experience. At our someone said these words; “There’s no competition here, no ‘mine’ or ‘yours’. This is about them and what we can do for them.” All nodded in agreement. It was a blessing to be amongst people who genuinely cared about others.
Later, I had a discussion with someone who did a lot complaining about the aggravating folks in his life. “They’re always getting on my nerves, telling me what to do and what not to do. They won’t leave me alone. Why can’t they just let me do what I want. As long as I’m okay with it, what’s the harm?”
Two conversations, two different approaches to life. One says: “It’s all about me getting what I want .” The other; “It’s about them getting what they need.”