Thursday, June 19, 2008

Something Beautiful (part two)

One of my goals at work is to try and get to know the people I work with as people; not just "the homeless" or "the ones in detox". It's harder then it would seem. Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of opportunity to simply sit with clients and listen. Street Ministry is a good time for this though, so I'm hoping I can do some of that listening there and have it benefit me in my job. The overlap is good sometimes.

In any case, I recently had a very good conversation with one of our regulars that touched me a lot. He's another one whose life has been so damaged my drugs and alcohol. I wanted to know more about him, to know who he was despite his disabilities, beyond his difficulties. I asked him "If you could do anything in the world, no holds barred, what would you do". He looked at me, and said "well I would help people". And that says so much to me; it really touched me.

"Well I would help people". Hardly the answer you'd expect from someone like him. The kind of guy many people cross the street to avoid. The guy passed out on the corner, the guy lying drunk in the middle of the road. What does he want most in life? Not another beer, not a smoke, not a clean bed for the night, to help people.

Of course, his answer might change if I ask him again tomorrow, but I know that the spirit is there. I watch him; when he's sober, and he really is a very kind, generous person. He opened a door for me yesterday (the he asked me for an opening fee), he took out the garbage for a coworker today. I just wonder; how can I help him help others?

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