Back in April I had the pleasure of teaming up with Love360 in efforts to feed the displaced and bring a little light into their lives through conversing and exploring the possibilities of life. The patrons were mostly male coming from various walks of life and differing ethnicities. Image-1As my counterparts from Love360 prepared the meal for the evening I engaged in small conversations with the men starting by going around the room and introducing myself individually and shaking each one of their hands. Until you’ve been in an environment such as this or around people who are less fortunate or mentally disabled you may never know how the slightest things can shift their spirits. In that instance I saw a few eyes light up and a few walls come down. It’s so often people help to feed their egos with praise or do so because they are obligated to for various reasons. There’s a difference between doing something from the heart and doing it for the recognition which is why it’s taken me so long to write this post. There’s a fine line between sharing/testifying and being self serving.

After my brief introduction around the room I began to talk to them about vision boards attempting to peak their interests. I came with a box full of magazines and various supplies that were donated from all the good people that support The LAME Way and Love360. Keep in mind that these are grown men most of which are old enough to be my father and they weren’t the slightest bit interested in cut and paste activities. I saw a few eyes filled with curiosity so I gently pushed and one man said he wanted to participate so I shifted my focus to him and began to find out a little more about him. The others were either listening to music on their personal devices, watching the small TV in the room, or sporadically keeping their eyes on me and Frank.

Frank simply told me he wanted to get his life back. I saw a shift in his spirit from the time I walked in the door until the completion of his board. His eyes had a flicker of light that wasn’t there when I arrived and his energy gave off a sense of new found determination to just be better. When he finished his board we talked some more and I shifted my attention back to the others. Image-1Although most were reluctant to participate they were beyond interested in Frank’s board offering suggestions here and there of what he should add. I continued to talk to the others to find out where they were from and share a little about myself. We exchanged laughs and words until the food was set out on the table. Once the plates were made the room got quiet and a few others that weren’t in the common area came to join us.

It’s a blessing to be able to be of service to others when I left my heart was so full and my mind wanders sometimes about the guys and how they are holding up. I especially wonder about Frank because his courage to try something new translated into a newfound sense of hope for him. I wondered if these guys had children and how their families perceive them based on their status quo or past mistakes. Image-1There’s some good in us all no matter what we have done or been through and it’s never too late to make a change in our lives no matter how small or big. People often think change is a big drastic thing when it’s not. Change is just a shift in mentality and action day by day that requires effort but eventually will manifest into a newness of life. All it takes is the simple step of faith in choosing, once a choice is made then we must act.

This was my first encounter with the residents of the Daily Planet but it definitely will not be my last. I can only hope that I was as much of a blessing to them as they were to me. Thank you to my counterparts from Love360 and the staff (whom participated in the vision board party as well) for coming together and making this happen.

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