Saturday, January 4, 2014

There's No Place Like a Home in Someone's Heart

Something to Brag About
I was talking with a gentleman the other day, who I'll call William. He's always boasting about his blessings and praising God for his life, his wife and his marriage. Almost every time you see him he's bragging. It isn't arrogant boasting. William is genuinely grateful and inspired by his own life's events, and you get some of the best chuckles when you listen to him talk about it.

Today I felt like boasting about William. You'll understand why after you read this.

Last week, William and I bumped into each other and wished each other a Happy New Year. I asked what did he and his wife have planned. 

He said, in his usual, jovial manner, 'We are just going to be together. I really love being with my wife."  

Listening With Your Eyes
As I listened this time, having heard him say how much he loved her many times before, I seemed to feel it so much, and I saw it in his eyes. We had a few minutes, so I was prompted to ask more about how they met. I had not heard the whole story until then, and this is what he told me:

"I was at church serving food to the homeless when I saw her. She was so messed up. I mean messed up! She had two huge black eyes (he emphasized HUGE), and was just crying and crying. I wanted to help her feel better, so I said 'Miss, everything will be alright. Can't you go to a family member's house? She told me she had no family to go to.  

A Strange Thing Happened 
 "I decided to take her home with me to take care of her. I could have taken advantage of her, but I didn't. I watched her sit there as she cried and cried. I just kept staring at her, and then something strange happened: I saw a person who was really messed up, BUT I COULD ALSO SEE MYSELF. Years prior, I had been through a program, too, and through substance abuse recovery. I was messed up just like that, or worse. I knew how hopeless she felt. I just comforted her, and she stayed the night and left the next day.

"About a week later, there was a knock at my door and it was her. She said she had come back to give me $20 for taking care of her that night. She tried to make me take it, but I wouldn't. It surprised me when she said 'let's go get some movies then'. So, we did and we watched movies all day. That day, I vowed to never let her get out of my sight again. Two weeks later, I married her. 

"When I told my pastor I wanted to marry "the homeless lady", he thought I was kidding. But, he not only married us at the church, they gave us a reception, too. That was eighteen years ago. Me and my wife are still at that church, and I have been happy and blessed ever since." 

Sometimes a Blessing Doesn't Always LOOK LIKE a Blessing
Quite a story, isn't it? There are so many POWERFUL LIFE LESSONS here, Friends. Imagine being homeless, hopeless, on drugs and abused, and LOVE somehow comes to your RESCUE. Imagine the joy of going from homeless to a home in someone's heart. I say this, ANYONE who is in that situation or anything similar, please don't give up on yourself or life. You are WORTHY of being loved, helped and  rescued. Please believe it. It's possible for God's LOVE, and a special person's love to find you, when you least expect it. Sometimes, love is all you need.

I must make mention that William is a dedicated, hard-working, strong Black man whose compassion is sincere and whose heart is gigantic. He saw something in this homeless woman that no other man dared to see, a BIG BLESSING. Sometimes a blessing doesn't always look like a blessing, does it? Perhaps, William may have missed it, too, if he had not been looking through the eyes of wisdom and compassion. 

It Pays to Pay Attention
It makes me know that we really need to pay ATTENTION. Any of us can lose out on so many SPECIAL PEOPLE, SPECIAL MOMENTS and SPECIAL BLESSINGS when we don't keep our eyes, mind and hearts open.  Men, keep this in mind, too: Don't ever sell yourself short regarding your capability to love, be loved and enjoy YOUR life. Your blessings and success in life may not look like that of movie stars and celebrities, but your happiness in life can. There are many of us who understand that to be true. It's your life. LIVE IT in your own special way. That's what truly matters at the end of the day, for anyone. 

An Inspiring Story, to Say the Least
Well, I was excited and quite inspired by my short chat with William. I was smiling really big inside and out as we parted. You just never know who or when someone will give you a major jolt of joy. I was paying attention, and I felt his happiness. 

Unfortunately, there is no "HELP" button we can push when life has its crazy and unforeseen dilemmas. However, stories like this remind us that there is always this enlightening and crazy thing called HOPE that can bring amazing things to our rescue.

One of the last things he said to me before our conversation ended was this:

"People may not think much of me because they see me having to pick up and clean up stuff all the time (he was referring to his position as Maintenance Engineer Manager), but that's alright. I'm a proud black man. I am SOMEBODY." 

I second that, Sir, you certainly are. 


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