There is something about helping others that lifts a person spirit. I have the privilege to work at a nursing home in addition to my work as an equine specialist. At the nursing home I do visits with the residents and help with activities. The activities on the surface may look like 'child's play' or unimportant but they have a very important purpose for the residents. It gets them out of their rooms and face to face with other people besides nurses and aides. We laugh and chat and bond. We become like family many times. On my days off I miss them!! Even this morning my mind is on the wonderful seniors I have gotten to know.
My work day at the nursing home is filled with tender moments that touch my heart. It has been a blessing also in how it is helping me grow beyond a very difficult past year for our family. I told several of the residents that THEY are my heroes I know they can't see themselves as I see them (who of us can??) but I see people who little by little are losing mobility, cognitive skills, health and family ties but they continue to reach out, connect - and love. I see them loving life in what, before this job, I thought of as a depressing situation. They give me hope with new eyes to see how life, in all its stages and challenges is to be lived to its fullest.
Yesterday I assisted an elderly gentlemen who walks with a cane but becoming more unsteady, to a soft chair by a sunny window. He had told me before he LIKES that chair! I am sure for his achy bones a nice soft place to sit and just watch the world is something he has earned and should rightfully be enjoyed! As I helped him to this spot he told me with great enthusiasm - you are the BEST! I laughed and enjoyed that he appreciated me - just doing what I love doing!!
In my heart I really think God brought this all together in the amazing way He does to take us both just a bit further down this journey of life with new eyes and appreciation for the little things, a soft chair, a kind word, a hand to hold.
The tender moment I just described came at a time in which not many kind words were being said in our nation. This past week was a big week for our country as our presidential election took place. I have read and heard some of the nastiest comments and so called 'facts' thrown around that are meant to do nothing more than tear us apart. I think our country can rise above the political ploys and religious manipulation to not be the pharisees of our time! Let's not be blinded to how God connects to us best- by helping, caring and loving each other!! That means getting face to face with people in need and holding out YOUR hand! Put into practice what it really means to be our brother's keepers. Live in their world for a bit and see their struggles! It takes the focus off our 'self' and puts it more in line with how Jesus lived. I hate seeing God and people good intentions being used in such a destructive way because of greed on some politicians and corporations part.
Poverty, racism, abortion, the break down of marriage are symptoms of a broken world that needs love, care, guidance - not condemnation, judgement, ridicule or most of all hatred. Speaking as one Christian to others- this means getting out of the pious mindset that someone else's sin is worse than your own. (Hey, I'm guilty of it too!!) Homosexuality is not contagious. Gay people should not be treated as the lepers of our time. Perfect love drives out fear. People are more than their nationality, skin color or race. And believe it or not- poverty is SO much more than someone being lazy. Get out face to face to get to know the impoverished as PEOPLE! Get your hands dirty and live their lives for a bit, THEN come back with ideas and solutions on how to fix it. I bet you will come away seeing things in yourself that need fixed as well. Over the last few years I have worked closely with an outreach program with our church helping the impoverished in our community. It was an eye opener on so many levels. I saw people really struggling for just shelter and basic necessities. I saw very little laziness- I learned it is HARD WORK to be poor! I saw desperation, hopelessness, untreated disabilities, untreated health issues, obesity due to limited access to real food, self medicating with drugs or alcohol when it all gets to be too much. Depression, family violence, limited options and abuse issues with no access to mental health services drives the feelings of despair and hopelessness. I saw generational child neglect due to all of the above issues and seeing no way out. Poverty is exhausting! I do not know if I could face the challenges any different with the options they have. Oh yes, abortion is a terrible thing but is it really pro-life to look past what kind of world these babies are brought into? Yes, adoption is an option but adoption is not without its own kind of pain and struggle for the mother. Adoption also takes a maturity and trust not easily found in desperate people who are just struggling to survive. Where does the insight come from for the mom-to-be if she can't see and isn't shown any other way? Voting pro-life but against social services is non sense! How many of you reach out in a real, physical, face to face way to an unwed, poor, pregnant mom and offer her YOUR hand to let her know there is another way? Or to the men who feel so beaten down by life are destined to absent and living a lost life of desperation as well with no role models. How many gay people have been driven away from God by Christians obsessing over homosexuality to the exclusion of so much else? Add now to our society the veteran suffering from PTSD due to our country being at war for so long.
Its going to take a whole lot of something for those of us who have something to give to turn this around! And I KNOW in the process the giver will be blessed.
Lets put our energies into brainstorming on how to work together- not against each other. In the end we are only hurting ourselves. I believe we are capable of being the best. The best in a better way.
Love and peace to you all!