Just about two years ago, I started spending one weekend a month at the New Orleans Dream Center. One Saturday a month, the Dream Center provides incredible outreach, including free medical, dental and vet care to those in need in our community. As I became involved, I was so inspired that I started blogging about my experiences; just about every visit something special happens.
Sometimes, I wonder if we’re truly having an impact. This past month, the impact was crystal clear. After starting the morning in the dental tent, Pastor Fred and I walked under the bridge where the homeless gather. We were offering a free lunch and spreading the word about the medical care. Then we met Jason M.
Jason’s story is not over the top. He’s only been on the streets for 5 weeks and made it clear to us that he hates standing on the corner panhandling. His feet were hurting badly, and he was desperate for clean socks and medical attention (fyi…one of the best gifts to provide the homeless are new socks). He had no idea free medical care was being offered just a block and a half away from where we stood.
After spending some time with him, he asked the Pastor to pray for him. As we started to walk away following the prayer, he stopped us. He had a gift for us.
He grabbed his back pack and sorted though the sheets of poems he had handwritten. He began to read with tears in his eyes, and we were taken back with the raw beauty and sincerity of his words. He handed it to us and insisted that we not only accept it as his gift but we also read it to our church. When I asked him whether it was ok for me to share his wonderful gift online, he pulled out a pen and proudly signed his name.
Please enjoy Jason’s gift to all of us.
Wind & Fire by Jason M.
Forgiving myself, past decision made me cost,
Accepting things I cannot change that I have lost.
Remember the days, war stories for every year,
And calendars fade away with every unshed tear.
Now the emotions, that developed with me inside,
And no more secrets, I have nothing to hide.
But one day of commitment, is all it took
Understanding the 34 years, that I overlooked.
Power of truth, working on me you never know,
Change doesn’t happen fast, a day at a time is where I go.
But I feel something inside, like it’s over the rim,
Not because of church, but my personal relationship with Him.
Only by grace, and the unbelievable burning desire,
Knowing God talks to his Angels through Wind and Fire.
You May be a Solution?
I became involved to serve others, and in return, I’ve been blessed greater than any gift that I could give. If you are interested in serving at the New Orleans Dream Center or the New Orleans Mission, please message me. I’m happy to answer any questions and/or share my amazing experiences and stories over coffee. You just may be a solution to someone else’s problems – changing your life and theirs.
I look forward to talking with you.
PS Jason’s poem inspired the “Hard Times Don’t Hit Me No More” jam session.
PPS Some original blog posts on working with the homeless regarding how this all started:
Meet Loretta. She lives in a tent – under a bridge: 78 years old. Could this be your Mom? Grand Mom?