Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Thanksgiving meal

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

It is Sunday morning, Laurie and I returned from our parent's house late last night.

We have had a whirl wind last few days. Every Thanksgiving we go down to southern Oregon to visit my mother and father, spending time talking, walking the beaches, and reconnecting; it is always a good time. The round trip is a smidge over 600 miles. I had taken Wednesday off to get ready for the trip. I only had a couple of things to do at the YMCA wednesday.

I got up, went to a meeting and then went into the "Y".

I have been working with a family whose 12 year-old daughter has cancer; she is terminal, they have already amputated her right leg and she is in hospice care at home. When she got sick, her mother could not take it and left; leaving her husband with a 12 year-old, a 9 year-old, and a 1 year-old. He is devastated on many fronts.

I had just finished talking with the father and making sure that this family would be ok while I was gone for a few days when the Welcome Center staff came into my office with a dilemma. Carlos, a developmentally delayed man whose mother had just died a couple of months ago had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. Carlos has been doing a good job of being a grown-up since his mother's death. We helped him get into subsidized housing, something he could afford, and he has been managing his finances well. He comes into the YMCA everyday and spends time with us.

The Welcome Center staff does an amazing job of connecting with our members and Carlos is no exception. They asked him what he was doing for Thanksgiving and he replied, "Nothing, I have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving." Then in true Carlos fashion, he turned and went upstairs to walk on the treadmill. The staff comes to me, recounts the interaction and asks, "What do we do?" It would have been easy to say, "We are all busy, and while this is not going to be a good day for Carlos, what can we do?"

But we didn't. We did some quick thinking, and decided to have Thanksgiving at the YMCA with Carlos. The "Y" would be open from 7am-1pm on Thanksgiving. First, I had to see if Carlos thought this would be a good idea.

I went upstairs and asked Carlos, "Would you like to come to the "Y" tomorrow and have Thanksgiving here?" He said, "Yes." I asked him, "Do you like Turkey?" He said, "Yes." I asked him, "Do you like rolls?" He said, "Yes." I asked him, "Do you like mashed potatoes and gravy?" He said, "I like mashed potatoes, but not gravy."

I ordered a turkey dinner from a local store, had it ready to pick up at 10am on Thanksgiving, Eddie said he could pick it up, and the staff would share a meal with Carlos on Thanksgiving.

I left the YMCA around noon.

As I sit here this morning, getting ready for church, thinking about what I am thankful for; I am thankful for a bunch of people that look at life with Jesus glasses on. I am thankful for a group of people that think of others and have compassion. I am thankful for the YMCA.

When I have my quiet time with Christ in the mornings, He will nudge me with things. This morning He is nudging me to tell the YMCA team at the Clark County Family YMCA that He is pleased. He is also nudging me to let them know that the work is important and there are others that will need us, others that we do not even know yet. How do we make Christ happy? One acted of Love at a time.

Of all the things I am thankful for I am most thankful for the Love Christ has shown me.


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