Tuesday, November 3, 2009

dispenser of hope

i loved the tv show MASH for a lot of years. near the end it got way too political in an attempt to be relevant but whatever. as the series ended Hawkeye had a bit of a mental breakdown and i remember a metaphor from that time of the show that just struck me. Hawkeye said that his job was to "pull bodies out of a sausage grinder without going insane" and i've sometimes thought about how that relates to my life and my job.
i'm a welfare worker. i see desperate people everyday and i see all sorts of need everyday. most of the stuff that i can provide within my job is the band-aid solution of "here's a pittance to keep yourself alive, now the best thing for you is to go find some work so that you don't have to rely on income assistance any longer". that's definitely just a band-aid though (in it's best light), the best medicine that i have for folks who are desperate ... is hope.
i pull bodies out of a social sausage grinder, hopefully without going insane. i want to be encouraging, i want to provide hope, but it's so hard when things are so very bleak and folks have little to no options and a plethora of barriers.
i wish i could tell you stories but i can't, i have to protect people's confidentiality.
this concept extends to my blogging practices also. i try to leave encouraging comments when i visit your blog. sometimes i'm blind to what is the encouraging thing to say and how it is that i can try to send some hope your way but know this, when i don't know what to say then i still try to say a little prayer of thanks that i've found you amidst the struggle. i understand that some folks must think that it's creepy or flirty for a stranger to leave a comment that tries to speak to the darkness that they're in but that is not my intent. we need to spread hope in whatever corner we are in and it doesnt matter to me if i've actually met you or not. i want to encourage because we're in the struggle together, we belong, and we all need hope.
give hope. people need it. they want to hear encouragement and they aren't hearing it anywhere out there in dark and cold. pull bodies out of social, spiritual and emotional sausage grinders. be a dispenser of hope.

i pray for a blessing of grace, peace and hope in your life.

1 comment:

brokensaint said...

I was a teacher in the inner city for 8 years. It is so hard to balance hopelessness, realism, hope, and idealism. I think I understand what you do and I'm glad you do it. I don't know if I ever made a difference in terms of helping a kid get out of the inner city, go to college, etc. but I hope that maybe one of them will know that someone loved them, maybe that God loved them, maybe that there's hope for good things...