A Needy Place

“On the turning away

From the pale and downtrodden

And the words they say

Which we won’t understand

“Don’t accept that what’s happening

Is just a case of others’ suffering

Or you’ll find that you’re joining in

The turning away…”

—Dave Gilmour, Anthony Moore,

Song by Pink Floyd

I’m on my fourth week of volunteering with the Salvation Army. It’s become abundantly clear that not everyone is cut out for that line of work. Some, who may have begun with idealism, are now burned out. Some want to help, but not become too close with those who are in need. Perhaps they’ve been burned too much also. There are always those who are going to seek to take advantage, those who ask for a little too much, those who are dirty, smelly, or ugly. So, it takes a special kind of person to embrace such as these. It takes a special kind of person to see them as just like oneself, another human being. To treat them with love and respect, not as a problem. Maybe one day I can be that special person. For now, I’m just starting to learn about this place, where two very different worlds meet and dance a beautiful dance together.

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Reaching Out

Reaching out takes reaching in
For something stable, something strong.
Sharing of feelings, thoughts and struggles
Takes strength, trust, and bravery.

Those who always keep their heart
Closed tighter than a coffin,
Buried six feet under a swaggering attitude
And a big bright smile,

Don’t really know what it’s like
To connect, to hold another’s heart
In your hand, gently, oh so gently
And give it back when they are ready.

To give healing, and to receive it back,
There must be two persons willing to risk
A broken heart, a cold shoulder, a deadly stare.
To risk rejection is not easy, and it is not done

Lightly, or carelessly, when it is really done.
To give another something you hold dear,
If only for a moment, is like risking a fortune,
And takes more fortitude. But the gamble

Is for wonders immeasurable,
Jewels much more precious:
Understanding, acceptance, compassion.
These treasures are priceless.