Monday, August 26, 2013

Heartache, hope, and shaking my head

This week has been interesting, to say the least. I went out to feed the homeless as usual, but the day was anything but usual. I met a couple of young people, each with a story of abuse and neglect that was heartbreaking to hear. I also met a man who has been an alcoholic longer than I have been alive. His story was sad, but hope appears to be on the horizon for him.

A friend reached out to him and is sending him a ticket to go home to the mainland. While talking with him, he expressed fear that he would mess up again. He felt like he didn't deserve a second chance because he had messed up so many times in his life. He talked about failing and falling short. He was especially surprised that I bothered to reach out to him and give him a meal, since most of the people he encountered liked to kick him while he was down (More on this second part a little later).

I gave him some words of encouragement, prayed with him, and even laughed a little. I don't know what the future holds, but I hope he will accept his second chance and make the most of it. The truth is we all mess up. I don't even know where I would be had I not received a second, third, or, heck, 200th chance. I could have easily ended up in similar circumstances as him, or worse. I hope he grabs on to that second chance with everything he's got and gets a chance to live a better life.

The thing that left me shaking my head this week was seeing the attitude of folks in my community. I happen to be a part of a few community groups, and for the most part, they just like to talk about the good old days. This week I found the topic of their discussion to be completely distasteful. More than a few folks felt a need to not just kick some of the less fortunate in our community while they are down but resort to making fun of them and talking about how society would be better without them (This last part I am putting nicely because their words were just too harsh).

Hearing them talk of such things left me shaking my head. It's sad that they, most of whom are very well-off, feel the need to entertain themselves at the expense of others. Why not help, instead of kick a person while he or she is already down? The only real response I received was, "Well, if you like them so much, why don't you do something?" So, I briefly discussed what I have been trying to do, which unfortunately, instantly prevented any of them from saying anything at all from that point forward. Seriously, some dialog would have been nice.

Anyway, I just felt a need to put this out there. In our efforts to help others, we will inevitably encounter haters. Don't let that prevent you from continuing to help. There's a lot of hurting people out there. There's a lot of sad stories, but if you stick with it, you will see hope shine through. Keep trying. Have an awesome week, my friends!

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