Last night I watched the local news. In our Hulu and Netflix world, I rarely get to do this, but I happened to be waiting on a load of laundry to be done so I thought I’d sit and watch. It was dismal. It was depressing. It was hopeless.
It also was completely contradictory to my experience earlier that day and throughout this month.
Rock City chose to use its One for One fund for the month of May to bless local school teachers and faculty in some of Columbus’ inner city schools. What an honor this has been for our teams to be able to spend time with these fine men and women … hear their hearts … see their commitment.
The city and future we saw through the eyes of these teachers didn’t at all match what I saw on the news last night. The city and future we saw this month is full of hope and full of promise.
Is it hard? Yes.
Are the problems and social issues these teachers are facing with their students nearly insurmountable? Yes.
Have they given up hope? No.
Over and over we heard stories of teachers who were going the extra mile to ensure their students were given a fighting chance.
Today, we talked to a social worker who worked for Columbus Public Schools. She received a call earlier this week from one of the students she works with. The student is 18 and homeless. She hadn’t been showing up to school and with graduation just days away, the social worker was frantic. She shared how, shortly after arriving home the other night, her personal phone rang. It was the girl. She had been on the streets all week. No where to go. That’s why she hadn’t been to school.
The social worker spent the next 4 hours working with various organizations to ensure the girl had food in her belly and a roof over her head. She was the girl’s lifeline. Next week, because of her, this girl will graduate.
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when we look at the problems in our cities. It’s so easy to say, where would I even start? What could I possibly do? This month I realized that the odds of me being able to tangibly make a difference are actually pretty slim. I’m not equipped. I don’t have the access.
But, I can serve a meal to those who DO have access. I can give a hug to those who ARE equipped. I can provide encouragement to those whose tanks are almost empty because of the time and energy they pour into others. I can show God’s love to that social worker who went the extra mile. I can do that. And Rock City can do that.