Friday, April 29, 2016

My son's feet smelled really bad

When I leaned over to tell my teenage son good night, I was assaulted with the smell of dirty socks. It was pungent.

With a sheepish grin, he confessed that he couldn't remember how many days he'd worn the socks, so he reluctantly took them off, tossed them into the laundry basket, and opened a drawer chock-full of clean socks. Boys!

This little incident reminded me of "Mr. Smith", a now-deceased CCSC friend who couldn't tolerate the thought of anyone being cold, so he generously donated blankets, coats, and socks. He worried about people who lived on the streets as well as those who lived in run-down apartments without adequate heating and cooling systems. So he did what he could and donated these items.

In contrast with my son, there are people who wear one pair of socks for several days in a row because it's the only pair they have. My son, like most of us, is unaware of the bounty in his life: a drawer full of clean socks, a closet full of clothes, a bed with sheets and a blanket, and items such as toothpaste, shampoo, and dental floss.

I share all of this to make two points. First, pause sometime this weekend and take in - really take in - all the good things you have that are taken for granted. I know I'm guilty of overlooking the little things in life. Second, when you're buying personal items such as those listed above, pick up an extra item and donate it to CCSC or another human services agency. I can assure you it will be a much-appreciated donation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Still finding greatness in the parking lot

When I drove into my regular parking space on Monday morning, I was greeted by Winston. Winston is a former CCSC client who utilized our JobNet program several years ago to find work. In addition to his regular job, he now also runs a landscaping service. CCSC is one of his customers, so we see him twice a month.

He always greets me with a "how are you" that is authentic, not the "how are you" that most of us use as our standard conversation starter. 

This week we visited about our respective Sunday mornings. I gave a "moment for mission" at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and he was called upon (at the last minute) to fill in for his minister. Luckily he is well-equipped: he has read the Bible multiple times and conscientiously applies its principles to his life.

Winston is saturated in God's word and love, and it shows in his humility, authenticity, and deep faith. Whenever I speak with him, I come away feeling more centered and grounded. I imagine he has that effect on most people.

While I'm grateful CCSC was able to help him years ago, I'm even more grateful we still get to see him regularly. A talk with Winston is like a much-needed shot of spiritual B12.