Friday, November 26, 2010
Here’s a beautiful letter and appeal from Brian Burton, Executive Director of The Wilkinson Center. It speaks for itself.
Brave people walk through our doors every day. Listen for five minutes to the wide ranging narrative of stories shared by the newly poor, working poor and homeless people, and you will agree.
One of my first awakenings here was walking through the hallways and asking people waiting for food, “How are you today?” Their consistent response surprised me. Despite a life lacking in possessions, safety, security, employment, health or even shelter, I heard them reply to my question over and over, “I’m blessed.”
Often the statement rolls off the tongues of bodies crippled by years of neglect and abuse. Some manage to smile or raise their hand above their head, as though they have discovered a place of solace and hope.
No matter how bad things get for the “I’m blessed” crowd, their attitude transcends circumstances and plucks hope out of thin air. “Tomorrow will be better, things will work out,” they explain to my disbelieving face.
The State of Texas is about to balance much of its galactic deficit on their backs, and yet these “I’m blessed” neighbors will, as they always do, forgive and love the rest of us. Mitigated by faith and our best attempts to “serve” them, they will make their own way with God, step by step, day by day, facing hardship and struggles inconceivable to me.
Indeed, they have discovered a place of solace and hope. It is a place accessible only when all else has been stripped away: a deep overflowing reservoir of faith in God and an implacable belief in a better tomorrow.
This Thanksgiving, given the anxiety that hangs thick in the air we breathe, it behooves us all to tap into that place of faith these neighbors have found so abundantly. In return for guiding us there, the least we could do is to thank them by sharing the resources we have that will make their hopes for a better tomorrow come true.
Thanks for giving,