Is God trying to reach me? I don’t know if there have been divine signs or if it’s my natural proclivity to be drawn to people in need, but I have been noticing more often than usual the stories of hardship, homelessness, poverty, and hunger – and not only the physical, but the spiritual as well. Yesterday I was one of many listening to a presentation from a local organization that is doing its best to face the twin challenges of homelessness and mental illness. Last night I chanced to watch a documentary on television called, “God knows where I am” about a homeless woman who starved to death due to mental illness that prevented her from reaching out for help.
I want to help people. But I have no idea how to do so. So, I write it out. To hold all the pain I perceive in others is just too much sometimes. So, I hope you will forgive me. I do try to share positive messages, I really do. So, I am going to try to flip the switch now.
There are things we can do as individuals such as donating to food banks, being kind to one another, sometimes really simple small acts can and do make a difference. There is a woman who comes sporadically into the library, where I work, but over the years I have come to know her a little. She is a single mother of a large family. I often chat with her a bit and I am always so glad to see her. I don’t know her well, but I know she has had a lot of challenges in life. In 2016 Fort McMurray was evacuated due to wildfires and it was several months before I saw her again. She was one of many people I often thought about and prayed for. I was delighted when I finally did see her again. She fairly threw herself across the desk to give me a hug when I did. I was so grateful she was okay. And, I was happy, so happy. Of course, I hugged her back. Perhaps the time I spend with her is of little consequence, but I like to think it may make a difference in her hard life.
Life is hard, too hard for many people. I think the smiles we offer are important, time spent, if only a few minutes with people who are lonely and in need of kindness, is important. It costs us nothing, but can make a world of difference to people in need – and we are ALL in need sometimes.
God, if you are trying to reach me, You have. Now, please, grant me wisdom and grant me courage to do all I can to honor and help my sisters and brothers. They are yours. But they are also mine. Be with me as I try; and be with me when I fail. Help me to be gentle with myself and with others – always!