Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunday Stories: A Beautiful Gift

Mr. Incredible
My 7 year old might be an artist. He has loved drawing since he was four. The thing is, his drawings aren't like most little kid drawings; his are actually pretty good. He has this creative side that simply pours out of him.

Last week, he drew a picture for the assistant principal at his school. When he took it to the office to deliver it, the secretary intercepted him and said that she would make sure the assistant principal got it. When the secretary looked at this hand drawn picture, she was intrigued by the detail of the drawing. She asked my son if he had ever taken art or was in the art program. Since we didn't even know the school had an art program, he obviously said, "no". 

This week, my 7 year old came home from school incredibly excited because on that particular day, he had been invited to leave his friends and the mundane normalcy of first grade during one period in order to go to art class. It turns out that the secretary took it upon herself to speak to the art teacher about the potential talent in this young first grader.

Some might say, she's just a secretary. That seems to be a nasty habit in our culture. I like to think however that she is one who empowers others. I believe this woman has has a beautiful gift, an eye, an ability to recognize the beauty and potential in others and do all that's in her power to pull it out of them. Whether or not my son excels in his art, I will be happy with all that his art teachers teach him along the way, but I will forever be appreciative and grateful from the deepest parts of my being for the secretary who took time to notice what is inside of my son and to nurture and encourage his young heart.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stories: Doing What's Natural

He called me because he wanted guidance. I don't know him very well and wasn't really sure what kind of guidance he was looking for, but I love sitting down over coffee with friends, old and new, so we got together. He told me that he's been in recovery for close to 20 years and has an intense desire to see other people set free from the power of addiction to alcohol. He needed guidance from me - so he thought - when it came to how he was helping others get free. A few years ago, he and some friends began opening their homes to others who are in recovery to spend time getting to know each other and eating dinner together; something besides another recovery meeting.

Apparently, word got out about this informal dinner gathering and people started showing up like mad. Eventually, people who weren't celebrating any sobriety were showing up, sometimes drunk on the spot and desperate for help. It seems that getting into some of the hospitals around town is rather difficult these days as many of the detox units are overcrowded.  So, this man and his friends did what came natural to them. They decided to let those who were struggling through their addiction find refuge in their homes. Inviting them in. Providing a bed and food. Offering them a place and a community to detox with. Caring for them. And after 48 - 72 hours of detox, they are helping them get into programs where they might get the help that they need. 

At the end of our conversation, I asked, "What are you needing from me?"

He replied, "I just need guidance on how to do this."

To which I replied, 
"Well, you're loving on people, caring for them, preferring them and honoring them. I don't think you need my help. Just keep doing what comes naturally to you and keep following your heart."