Friday, January 7, 2011

Place For Hope

Sometimes the news attacks stories as if there are no other stories out there to be told. Earlier this week I turned on the news in the morning to see what was new in the world. The Today Show announced its headline stories. I did not like them so I switched to the Good Morning Show, same headliners. So I went to third morning show. Sorry, I do not have any idea what it is called, and it really doesn’t matter, because it, too, thought the Navy fella’s video and Favre were the best of the best of stories.

I can sift through all the trash of the Navy report to the get the point of a demotion, but do I really have to be forced to see clips of his video? Isn’t that what trash TV is for? Not the news? And as far as Brett Favre, well I do not follow football, but I bet he is one player that regrets coming back on the field this last time. That said, is his story at this time really news worthy?

So Tuesday was a flop on anything I wished to start my day off – nothing truly news worthy, nothing hopeful, nothing awe inspiring.

Then Wednesday arrives bringing all of us Ted Williams. They are on him like white on rice. His story is amazing. His story is not over. A story of second chances.

I watched this morning as he and his mother were interviewed. My heart went out to both of them. So much baggage to be sorted through. So much that did not need to be aired on TV for us to see. Wounds not healed mixed with an excitement of new notoriety. Ted Williams said he would request the service of NBC’s staff psychiatrist – I pray he follows through. He needs to, his family seems to support him, but there seems to be, naturally, a slew of past disappointments to be dealt with and with momma, it is shining through loud and clear. Second chances for more than one.

One gift for me over the holidays was a chance to help out at a new facility in our community – A Place 4 Hope. Several local citizens rallied to open a day center for the homeless. A Church in a central location donated use of their building for the cause. A room was cleared and two washing machines and two dryers were added. UMCOR set up a trailer outside with four showers. Another Church’s parishioners volunteer their time on Fridays to meet with those trying to find jobs and find their way. There is a phone available and an address so those needing an address have one. Now, Monday thru Friday, there is a place for those on the street to bath, wash their clothes, and meet people that can help scout out jobs for those wishing for a change.

I was struck by the fact that only men came in that morning. They were waiting when we arrived and jumped right in to the task at hand, whether it was getting on the roster for the laundry or the resource group or just to take a quick shower. I asked another volunteer about this and she said the only thing she could guess is there is a difference in the system if you are a man. Woman usually have children, and that seems to open up more options for woman than single men.

I know each has his own story and maybe one day I will hear a few. Some I would bet had been military at one time. The way they meticulously folded each clean item that was removed from the dryer was fascinating to me. One gentleman came in only to take a quick shower. Having left his bag outside, he came back through from his shower, neatly dressed, through the door where I saw him a few minutes later splashing on Old Spice on his freshly shaven face. I have not seen a bottle of Old Spice in a long time.

One thing they all had in common, they were gentlemen. And each and every one showed gratitude. One had said on a previous day, “no one wants to sit by someone that hasn’t bathed in three months.”

Now I doubt that Favre and Mewbourne’s choices and actions will take them to the point of living on the streets, but I hope their decisions in the future have a more positive value on their life and those they come in contact with than their recent choices have.

I also hope that, like Ted Williams, all those whose choices or circumstances have taken them down the road to the point of mere survival get their second chance too. May they embrace it move forward…



Anonymous said...

So many great points, like the news organizations being repetitious over non-stories. For someone to reach a zenith in society spotlighting their foolishness - compared with citizens in society who struggle with no spot-light - WOW! It looks like both struggle with functioning in society. I think there's a book here somewhere! It would be much better than the news!

Finding Pam said...

The news for me is too depressing. They no longer report on good news at all.

I love that you are volunteering at that center. Women and children seem to have more care and help available for them. It is a tough world we live in today. I am thankful that you are so willing to give of your time.

FancyHorse said...

Interesting thoughts! I don't keep up with TV news anymore; years ago I noticed that trend - the same on every station. And it's no better with 24 hour a day news - they just repeat the same old same old over and over.

I, too, wish Ted Williams and his family well. I saw his clip on YouTube.