I fell in love with this phrase when my friend, who grew up Mormon, said it one evening when we were talking about the Center and life in general. One of the most interesting things about my job (aside from almost everything lol), is that I work daily with a LOT of people of all different kinds of faiths. Everyone may be of different religions, or variations of a religion, or no religion at all, but they’re working towards a common goal; to concretely help people living in the most extreme poverty.
I don’t have a specific church that I’m a member of, but because I work in a Methodist church, people ask me, almost daily, if I’m Methodist or a member of that specific church. I grew up going to a Baptist church, which was close to my house when I was a kid. One of the advantages of not having a specific church is that I’m don’t feel biased over any specific religion or group, and can work easily with people of all faiths (or no faith), and as long as everyone is striving to do good in the world, I’m in their corner. Everyone wants the opportunity to do some good in the world.
I often refer to the energy or force of faith as “The Universe”. It excludes no one. I’ve seen the amazing things that The Universe can do, and I’ve witnessed first hand the way that the things that we put into it can come back in beautiful (and sometimes terrible) ways. I love the teachings of Jesus Christ and take to heart that we should love one another, show kindness and generosity to the poor, and be as much of a force of good as we can be. They’re lofty goals, but again, callings typically have lofty goals.
Today was one of the busiest days I’ve seen at the center in a while. We had so much going on that I didn’t have a moment to answer emails, take pictures, post to social media- I’ll be tackling those emails after I write this blog, but I’m trying to write daily, so I’ve promised myself that I will, in some form or another, write something. I do have one of the few jobs in the world where by 2 pm I’ve already had “a day, whew” while other people are still at work. Today was “a day”.
In good news, our Bombas socks came, as well as our stove to replace the one with the electrical problem. The bad news about the stove is that the plug isn’t the right one, but we have someone coming to look at it. St. John’s MCC made and brought lunch today, so that gave us some reprieve on cooking. Our friend, Randy Evans who runs “Walking Tall Wilmington” came today, hung out, and then spoke during church service. It was awesome to see him, even though it was so busy that we barely got to talk.
The saddest news that I heard today was that one of our community members, a young man, got the call that no parent ever wants to get. His daughter had been playing on a jungle gym, had a seizure and passed away. I sat with him outside in the smoking section and literally just sat with him. There was nothing I could say, nothing I could do, but give him a hug and let him know that Pastor Robert was on site that day if he wanted to talk to someone who specializes in grief. Pastor Robert worked in hospice for a long time, and loss is a subject that he doesn’t shy away from. I then just sat with him some more and checked in on him throughout the day. It reminded me of something Rev. Hugh Hollowell said, “I can’t pay your light bill, but I will sit with you in the dark”. We do a lot of sitting with people in the dark.
Our friend who sees Demon Fairies was very calm today, and I hooked him up with some gear to replace the Marshall’s shopping bag (the handles on those shopping bags break easily). I got him a donated book bag, canvas tote, and one of those small drawstring book bags, that way he can separate his things out as he needs to. He apologized again today, but for the first time, when I gave him the bags, I saw a hint of happiness flash through his eyes and it gave me hope. Hope for him, hope for the center and hope for all of us.
We were able to get two more tents to people who lost theirs in the flood! One guy cracked me up and said his tent looked like “Jurassic Park in there”. I also saw one of our young friends who we haven’t seen in a year! She was 30 days sober, walking better with a cane (last time I saw her, she was in a wheelchair and had been hit by a car), and she looked very healthy. She is a person who has been diagnosed with multiple personalities, and one of her personalities is 5 years old, so I found her 5 year old a toy dinosaur to replace some of the toys she lost in the flood and I hope that it makes her happy. Her inner 5 year old had been acting out since the flood, and her therapist had said that this may happen. I know all of that sounds really far out, but I’ve learned a LOT about actual multiple personality disorder, and I always take the requests of her other personalities very seriously. If she shows up as a 5 year old, I respect that too and don’t expect her to do things that 5 year olds can’t do. Luckily, she has a very supportive boyfriend to help her navigate the world, she needs that support and understanding.
One of our friends had to go to court for loitering. Have you ever seen a rich person arrested for loitering? That’s just all I have to say about that. It’s a “homeless people charge”.
We see a lot of things in a day at the center. I spent a lot of time on my feet with my attention pulled in several different directions. I was VERY happy to see my therapist today, as he is a person who has also worked in a daytime facility, specifically for people with Schizophrenia. It was the PERFECT person to talk to, because as he said, “There were times that I would get together with old coworkers, and we all felt like no one else in the world could understand some of the things we experienced.” He’s definitely a person who “gets my job”, and that’s excellent because I know that not everyone is going to get that. I mean, some of this stuff, you just couldn’t make up if you tried, so having someone else who has been there to talk to after a crazy day is cathartic.
Now, I guess I’m going to go tackle all of those emails. Stay good people!