Stains Of Hope!

There are days when I feel the walls closing in....
There are days when all the issues seem insurmountable....
There are days when hope seems to have vanished and taken an early vacation....

When these days arise, the wisest thing for me to do is to take some time, and go for a midday wander around the neighborhood. This gives me the opportunity to rejuvenate and refocus. These wanderings help me recenter my thoughts and prayers on God; the One who helps me "be still" in all the chaotic madness that can overwhelm us at CCO.

Today I went on one of those walks....

As I rounded the corner, I was surrounded by undeniable, unforgettable and unusual hope! I was on the corner many people in Uptown perceive as blighted and a disgrace to the "hood", but today, I was seeing and experiencing hope. I was standing on Wilson and Broadway, celebrating all the success and movement that was embracing me.

Within a space of less than 100 meters, I was privileged to be shaking the hands of 12 different people. Yes, that right, 12! We'd assisted each and every one of them in different ways; we'd helped them all either get housed, stay housed or both. Some of this group had been helped directly, while others indirectly; some had received financial assistance, while others had their practical needs fulfilled; vital phone calls had been made and the right referrals had been given at the right time.

Earlier this morning, I had helped one of these men who was in a dire situation. I'd originally assisted him a couple years ago, by helping obtain his own apartment, yet today, by giving him a little financial aid (thanks Emergency Fund), I was able to ensure he'd stay housed and wouldn't end up back on the streets.

You get the gist! On Uptown's most blighted corner, I was surrounded by 12 men and women who'd escaped the grasps of homelessness and hope was staring me straight in the eyes. I gotta admit: I feel truly honored and privileged to be a part of all these miraculous and remarkable stories of success and positive movement.

Today, as I walked around the neighborhood, I smiled, thanking God, thanking Jesus, for opening my eyes to the undeniable, unforgettable and unusual hope which stains the streets of Uptown.

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