This is a story about hope, faith and love; and, the lessons, changes, and miracles that can happen when we believe.
The definition of hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a sure thing to happen. The archaic description: a sense of trust.
Those who are less fortunate………..
I like to help others. One of my favorite places to visit and help out is at our local homeless shelter. Each time I volunteer, I am amazed at the growing number of people needing this vital service. The residents of the shelter come from all walks of life. Some are recovering addicts, some have lost their jobs, some have lost their homes, and some are veterans with emotional issues. Before they came to the shelter, they felt helpless.
I remember talking with a lovely woman who had lost her job and apartment, due to an illness, which led to surgery, followed by many weeks of recuperation. She felt so helpless.
During the day, folks who do not reside at the shelter but are struggling financially can drop in for lunch. I have seen whole families when serving at the twelve o’clock hour. It is not uncommon to help seventy, eighty, or more people at that time of day.
These wonderful folks have very few material things and depend on donations of clothes, shoes and the necessities of life, to help them get their lives back on track.
The men and women who call the shelter home may stay up to one year while they work on getting themselves together through counseling, working on their GED, and learning a new skill; hopefully leading to better job opportunities.
You are probably thinking, where is this story going? What does it have to do with the title? Why is she talking so much about the less fortunate? Hang in there, I promise it will all come together.
The definition of faith: 1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2.belief in the existence of God, or a higher being, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
Those who are ill…….
Every family has someone facing a severe illness. It seems to be all around us. Some have a disease that is easy to heal, and some have an illness that meanders down a steep road to recovery. We cannot forget those that suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Those going through illnesses feel helpless. In reality, illnesses can happen to anyone at any age. When our loved ones are sick, we feel powerless.
Losing a loved one…
When a loved one dies, a big part of us goes with them. Whether we lose them through an illness, an accident, a drug overdose, or suicide; we are never the same. Along with the many questions we have, helplessness creeps in and plans on staying for a very long time.
Those serving in the military……
When we have a loved one serving in the military, our thoughts are always on their well being. The separation the family endures is overwhelming, and the longing to be together is forever present. Those serving have a helpless feeling when things are not going just right at home, and those at home feel helpless when their loved one is in danger.
The definition of love: 1. an intense feeling of deep affection. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment, or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend
The shelter is a beacon of hope for all those who are going through a rough patch in life. It is a place where the failures of life can be turned around; fostering a new way of thinking, and a possible change of heart.
Although the home is made of wood and bricks, it is an environment that allows those struggling, to feel the warmth of caring staff members and volunteers. Programs provided for the residents are stepping stones to success. It is the hope that all the residents will use the learned skills to make better choices, find jobs, and gain the confidence to live healthy, happy lives.
Families stopping by for daily lunch, know that they are not alone in their struggles through the delicious meal prepared and served by those wanting to make a difference. The love that floats through the air in the shelter is like a magnet that touches each person as they step up to the serving counter.
Family members more than often, pull together when there is an illness. They do what they can to take care of those they love. They pray, and ask God, to take away the sickness, lessen the pain, and make them whole. Their prayers, faith, and love mingle together to form a powerful border; a border of unconditional love that leads to hope.
Those of us who have lost a loved one, grieve each and every day in our own ways. There is no time limit on grieving but having support, and knowing that friends and relatives are there for us and truly love us, help the healing process begin. It is through hope, faith, and love that we begin to live again.
So dear readers, if you have not guessed, The Many Faces of Hope, Faith, and Love, really is about each and every one of us. It is about; helping those less fortunate; caring and supporting those who are ill; reaching out to family and friends who have lost a loved one, and showing respect and love to each and every serviceman and woman, and their families.
I firmly believe in my heart, that when we do for others, hope, faith, and love grow like beautiful flowers. Just imagine, the gardens we could each grow if we reached out to those who desperately need us! Our beautiful gardens could become miracles for those we love. My question to you is: What grows in your garden?