I've sat down to write this blog no less that 8 times and I can't seem to get the words right. Are there any words when you've been touched so deep that it's changed your perception of the world we live in? I'm not sure.
You see, in a time where there is fear almost daily, we can find the good in different situations. A spark can set the world on fire. One mention of me doing this meal for those in need and instantly there was over 50 people helping. No questions asked, just kindhearted people wanting to chip in where there was a need. People showing their love for others, their compassion, and their kindness. Everyone wanting to make this world a better place.
We had people standing by ready to lend an ear if anyone wanted to talk. I was able to talk to a homeless gentleman for quite a while at the meal. Our conversation was life-changing for me.
"Come on over and get a bag of food, sir," I yelled.
Looking down at the ground I saw a hispanic middle aged man walk over. He shoulders were sunken down and his face wrinkled from being out in sun, "Okay," he said.
"It's a great day, isn't it? The sun is finally shining." I tried to make eye contact but he was still looking at the ground.
"Sure," he said. Sounding defeated. He turned around and started to leave.
I walked towards him and said, "You know, we have people here that can listen if you'd like to talk. That's why we're here today. I want you to know that we care and are here for you."
He turned and looked at me for the first time, "I haven't always been homeless, you know. I had an apartment, a job, a life. One thing led to another and here I am. Alone on the streets with no help. It didn't always use to be this way. I know my momma is so sad in heaven."
He continued, "She gave me this beautiful bible before she died. She wanted me to go to church, to say my prayers. I'm so mad at God. Look at me"
I had to think about what to say for a second, "I can only imagine. I'm sorry you're going through this."
"Just look at me," his voice cracked and the tears started to well up in his eyes. "I can't go to church in these clothes. No one wants a homeless man in their church. I'm so lost right now. I never thought I would be in this position, I thought this was only in the movies. It's not, it's my life."
"I can help you find a church," I said.
"It's no use," he said, "I hate God." Tears started falling to the ground.
"I would be upset too." I put my arms around him and gave him a hug.
"I don't know what to do."
I took a deep breath, "I want you to repeat after me. I am beautiful."
"Just trust me, I'm going to teach you something," I said.
"I am beautiful."
"Okay, great. Now listen, I am wise. I am smart. I am abundant. I am caring. I am cared for. My needs are met. I am loved. I am love. Love is all around me. I am wonderful. I am needed. Life loves me. How does this sound," I said.
" What if you said this to yourself instead of the negative things you say? How do you think your thoughts would begin to shape your perceptions?" I asked.
He looked at me in the eye, "I don't know. I've got to go."
I felt defeated. I said too much. I told everyone who was volunteering that wanted to man the Buddy Bench to not talk, just to listen. Here I was talking. Not even listening to my own rules.
We went on serving meals and I was sick to my stomach and not trying to show it.
About an hour later the man came back with his shoulders higher and stood in front of the line and said to me, "I just want to say thank you and that I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say I hate God. I don't. And I want to you to know I'm going to do what you said."
That's all I needed to hear.
I want to thank everyone who helped make this meal a success. Your generosity and kindness are beyond words for me. More than anything, for just a few hours, we made this world a better place. That gives me hope for a better tomorrow. If we put our 50+ minds together we'd conquer the universe. Love to you all.