Print Friendly and PDF
logo
divider

Doing Hard Things

July 12, 2011 6:42 am

When it comes to doing hard things, I'm a wimp. Recently, I was invited to participate in a church mission project for homeless people. My first response was "no way." I'm the kind of person who would rather support from afar. This is a quality I am not very proud of, but it is the truth. It is much easier to donate things like ketchup, collect canned goods or give away blankets. But to actually look people in the eye as you hand them a meal is very different.

So when this project kept coming up over and over, I knew I needed to "man up." This was not a smiley decision, this was a "do it scared" sort of time.

We pulled up on the designated spot to see hundreds of homeless people gathered in anticipation of a picnic meal. To say I was terrified to even get out of car was an understatement. My wimp self wanted to drive away. But luckily my brave self prevailed as my son and I made our way to the picnic.

I'm so glad we didn't miss it. We spent the afternoon talking to all sorts of people -- people just like me, but who had fallen to difficult circumstances. People that were drug addicts, jobless, broken, unable to return to their home countries. I practiced my elementary Spanish with those that didn't speak English. I introduced men with tatooos and piercings all over their face to my son. We even sang songs with those that felt like singing. It was a total grab bag of experiences.

After that day, I felt emotionally raw. The most surprising thing was that people just wanted to tell me their story. I wasn't there to change them, to do anything but to listen, be a friend, give a meal. Most were grateful for someone who would simply hear them, to matter in this world. In that, I am no different. They may sleep in a different place and have dark experiences to tell. But we all long for the same thing -- to be significant in this life.

Written by Cara McLauchlan, whose blog, Joy Goggles, celebrates the simple joys of life. It’s a chance to look at our days through “Joy Goggles” and discover the beauty in ordinary

 



When it comes to doing hard things, I'm a wimp. Recently, I was invited to participate in a church mission project for homeless people. My first response was "no way." I'm the kind of person who would rather support from afar. This is a quality I am not very proud of, but it is the truth. It is much easier to donate things like ketchup, collect canned goods or give away blankets. But to actually look people in the eye as you hand them a meal is very different.

So when this project kept coming up over and over, I knew I needed to "man up." This was not a smiley decision, this was a "do it scared" sort of time.

We pulled up on the designated spot to see hundreds of homeless people gathered in anticipation of a picnic meal. To say I was terrified to even get out of car was an understatement. My wimp self wanted to drive away. But luckily my brave self prevailed as my son and I made our way to the picnic.

I'm so glad we didn't miss it. We spent the afternoon talking to all sorts of people -- people just like me, but who had fallen to difficult circumstances. People that were drug addicts, jobless, broken, unable to return to their home countries. I practiced my elementary Spanish with those that didn't speak English. I introduced men with tatooos and piercings all over their face to my son. We even sang songs with those that felt like singing. It was a total grab bag of experiences.

After that day, I felt emotionally raw. The most surprising thing was that people just wanted to tell me their story. I wasn't there to change them, to do anything but to listen, be a friend, give a meal. Most were grateful for someone who would simply hear them, to matter in this world. In that, I am no different. They may sleep in a different place and have dark experiences to tell. But we all long for the same thing -- to be significant in this life.

Written by Cara McLauchlan, whose blog, Joy Goggles, celebrates the simple joys of life. It’s a chance to look at our days through “Joy Goggles” and discover the beauty in ordinary

 


print



Comments (0): Subscribe by Email
There are no comments yet.
<< prev - comments page 1 of 1 - next >>

Add your comment:

Add your own comment using the guest form below , or login / sign-up to comment using a carolinaparent.com user account and subscribe to email updates for additional comments to this post.

Name:
Email:
 
Email address will not display on website.




Blog Search






 

WIN GREAT PRIZES!



Check out our monthly prizes! Join in the fun. Your child could be a winner today!

Get our Newsletter!

Sign up to receive news, event updates and more from Carolina Parent.