How They Get There

I helped a 33 year-old man create the first resume of his life today.Life the Fallen

He has been in jail a few times, done a lot of drugs; taken the typical path that leads to homelessness.

“My dad was a church deacon,” he said. “But he was also an emotional terrorist.”

“He used to tell me that I was God’s punishment on him for all of the bad things he had done.”

“He beat me too, of course. The last time he laid his hands on me were when I was 14. The things he used to do were…horrible. I’ve talked to him maybe three times since.”

It’s easy to look down on people like him…until you learn how they got there.

His expression as we printed off his resume will stick with me for a long time. He was genuinely proud. An expression I doubt he displays often.

“Can we get something nice to put it in?! Some kind of folder or something?”

“You bet!” I said and walked over to grab him a nice new manilla envelope.

He put the resume in the folder and said, “Perfect!”

Walking out the door, he smiled and thanked me.

I got more out of it than he did. I guarantee it. And all it took was 45 minutes of my time from start to finish.

It’s pretty easy to be a blessing to a person who has lived most of his life on the threshold of hell. A little common decency, some smiles and kind words will put a smile on his face.

But if you genuinely, deeply care for him…now that will blow him away.

I think I’ll do it again next week.

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Sit With Me

If a world leader you really respected and admired invited you to coffee one morning, would you go? I think I know that answer to that one.

What if he wanted to get together quite regularly? Not with an ulterior motive, but simply due to a somewhat perplexing interest in what is going on in your life.Man sitting

There would of course be ample opportunities for him to share bits of wisdom with you. It would be a disappointment if he didn’t. He has lived a very rich life, ranging from that of a homeless man to the powerful individual that sits before you. In fact, it’s quite odd that he would have time for you in the first place. Major world events are influenced by this man and far more important people than you are in need of him. Without his leadership everything just seems to falls apart.

After you meet a few times, you begin to notice patterns. He can be a bit silent at times, but the look in his eyes always lets you know that you have his full, undivided attention. How can someone look so supremely confident, yet at the same time humbly empathetic, as if he has been in your exact circumstance? He always shows up, is never late, never bores of hearing of your cares and challenges (how I will never know) and offers up the precise bit of wisdom you need in your time of desperation.

Oddly, every time you arrive, you find he has preceded you to your favorite meeting place. There he sits, patiently, as if he has nothing more important to do. You’ve tried arriving early to see if you can beat him there, but have never managed to do so. And then you sit and start unloading all of life’s burdens, struggles and joys that clutter your mind throughout the day. His eyes never leave yours.

Then, as you draw to a close He leans in and quietly gives you words of encouragement and challenges you to offer up your best, because people are depending on you too. And just before you get up to leave, He reaches over to place a reassuring hand on your knee. You can’t help but notice the scar. From an age-old injury, He once told you. One that reminds you both how much you truly mean to him.

“Shall I see you again tomorrow morning?” He asks.