Thursday, November 4, 2010

everyone has one...

a story that is.

my mind is swirling tonight...and my heart doesn't know whether to break into a million pieces or feel thankful. it will probably do both.

i served dinner at the shreveport rescue mission this evening with jeffrey. he has gone several times...but tonight, i got to go with him.

what a humbling experience.

the whole time i was serving up the hot food to these mothers and children, i just couldn't stop thinking about the fact that everyone has a story. if i could have, i would have gone and sat with each one of these individuals to find out how they got here. i certainly wouldn't be asking just to be a voyeur into their lives or to seem judgmental...i truly want to know what happened in their life that has brought them to this place...to this point.

there was a little boy (there were several children but this particular child really struck me) that caught my attention in the dining room. as he came through the line, i looked in his eyes and i saw sadness...yet he was so polite...saying "yes m'am" when i asked if he would like gravy on his rice. he's learning manners somewhere. he had a school uniform on and i just couldn't help but want to scoop him up into my arms and tell him that he matters...that he can make something of himself. i couldn't help but wonder if some teacher tells him she loves him. he has to go to school every day just like my girls, but instead of coming home to a pantry full of food that he can help himself to...he has to ask strangers for a glass of milk.

like i said, the heart inside this mother wants to break.

i'm a detail oriented person...so i told jeffrey that i wanted a tour of the facility. a very nice lady guided us through and i just had so many questions. it's truly amazing what they offer. the ladies and the men are separated - there's about 50 bunks for each group. we weren't able to walk through the sleeping quarters, but from what we saw it was a room with lots and lots of bunk beds. there was a common area where each group, men and women, can watch t.v., use computers, or read. you wouldn't believe the faces staring back at me.

there are 12 family suites that she said are always full. once again, heart breaking.

they sign up to do their laundry. they have worship. they have dental and medical care (which is just amazing to me). they have hot meals. showers.

all the basic things we have...but they don't have security. they don't have luxuries or comforts.
i just can't wrap my head around what it must feel like.

our "tour guide" told us that one man that just went through their 9 month program (basically an equipping class) had a ph.d from stanford...got diagnosed with lymphoma and lost his job...and found himself at the rescue mission. everyone's got a story. and it's not always because someone lost their way in drugs, or was abused, or was uneducated...

sometimes life just happens...and i guess that's what breaks my heart the most.

it makes me want to do more than just serve food. i suppose that's what a lot of people grapple with...how do you make a difference when you're just a tiny speck in the grand scheme of things.

i don't know the answer to that tonight. but what i do know is that i will be going back...if only to serve food. because something is better than nothing...

everyone has a story. including me. and i want my children...the ones who have a plethora of food, their own toys, the ability to have friends over to play - security...to know that there are those in this world, in this town...that don't have anything...and i don't want them to know this just because i told them it is so.

i want them to know this. i want them to care.

desperately i want this.

the only way they'll see this is to lead by example.

so tonight...as i lay my head on my soft pillow, in my soft bed...i will be reminded of what i saw today...and i will be thinking about how everyone has one...

a story that is.

3 comments:

Lisa said...

This was excellent and you are right, everyone has a story. Life takes turns we never expect. Great job dearie. Love you

Liz Folds said...

Mere-I'm sitting here with tears running down my face. This is what Granny and I would experience on those Christmas mornings that we fed the homeless at First Methodist. Everyone has a story and you are so right, it's not always about drugs or alcohol. It just the circumstances that they have been dealt.
I hope you do go back because you will make a difference.
Thanks for this inspirirng post!

Love,
Liz

Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

Oops. Missed this one. You expressed it so well, Mere. I'm glad you got to go see for yourself. Thank you for loving people with the love of Christ.