[The word random is such a liberating word, right? It (mostly) frees me from writing rules, which, frankly, makes writing so much simpler. Sometimes these thoughts wake me up at night, and I scramble in the morning to recall them – this is that. And, I know I’ve written about this before, but since we’re always needing more peeps to care, here we go again, which, I know, is just more random yada yada.]
Babies don’t always show up at the most opportune times, right? We often say there’s never a perfect time to have a baby.
Babies come when life is challenging, when we’re not economically sound, and when we had other plans, and so forth. Basically, babies are often darned inconvenient.
Just like volunteering. “But, I have to _______________.” Yeah, we totally get that.
Let me ask you, do you ever meet a friend for coffee and conversation? At your house? At a local coffee shop? In the park?
Okay, so maybe not, because you know, you’re busy. But, seriously, the act of conversation and listening can be so therapeutic.
It’s kind of like that at Choices. Most times it’s welcoming folks for a place to relax and enjoy coffee with a friend, plus a time to shop for baby’s needs. Other times it’s a private conversation about hard things someone is going through.
Okay. I can already hear you: “Ummm…I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify…I mean I’ve ________________.”
Let’s consider the reality that volunteer advocates aren’t perfect, and (some) have had less-than-stellar (whatever that means anyway) lives. Some of us have experienced abortion, divorce, multiple baby daddies, addiction, anger, abuses and such – especially those of us over a certain age.
It doesn’t make us damaged goods – or without gifts for the world.
Sometimes a client/guest/friend says, “Hey, I could do this. I could welcome and care and let someone know they’re not alone during a hard time,” we want to truly hear them because giving back continues the healing, and restores dignity. (Sometimes there are other factors that might mean someone isn’t a good fit.)
Maybe because we’ve been there? Actually, likely because we’ve been there, and are acquainted with a specific suffering that we feel we know a thing or two.
Giving back is something we hear with fair frequency, right? There’s a number of people who’ve struggled with addiction who’ve told me when I’ve asked about a possible future vocation, that they’d love to become substance abuse counselors. It’s what they know, and they’re able to connect with the struggle.
“It kind of makes you an expert in your field,” a wise family member just said to me. Yeah, it kind of does. Those who’ve suffered in this manner are intimately connected with that grief.
CNN’s 2016 Hero of the Year was born in Columbia with disabilities that his doctor said he ‘would amount to nothing’. Wrong. So, so wrong. He’s been to law school and been a fierce advocate for providing educational and medical support for youth living with disabilities in Columbia.
The world shouldn’t need heroes. We really should just do whatever we can to change the world so our fellow humans with real names, faces, and lives can simply live, having been loved well. And, it feels pretty darn Jesusy to me.
If you’re ready to consider volunteering for a few hours each week, and you’re what we call a ‘safe’ person, not judgmental, no agenda (other than love & compassion), and open to learning best practices for helping others in hard places, please contact me, because what the world needs now is love, sweet love.
And yes, there’s also that eensy-weensy faith-based question on everyone’s minds that is some version of this: “But, I’m not in church,” or “But I’m not sure what I believe – I mean, I don’t have it all figured out,” or “Yeah, I believe the whole Jesus-died-for-me thing, but does that mean I have to be all straight-laced and perfect?”
- It’s okay.
- I’m not sure either. I don’t have it all figured out.
- No, you don’t.
Depending upon your translation, love is mentioned in the Bible hundreds of times. It’s apparently a massively important concept and mandate. ❤