A few things have happened in the past few weeks that have changed me. I have always thought that when celebrities and the likes try to tell me how my life should be and what I should think about products, morals, religion, politics and whatever else they think they know it all about that they are so out of touch with mainstream America, phooey on them. I go on with my middle class life and think that I know what Americans think and how they live and what they should believe and then BAM....
...a woman (the grandmother) comes into the store and has three children under the age of 3 with her and she is keeping them while their mom is in prison. The youngest is probably 2 months old, the next just 10 months older than the first. Mom went to prison just after the older one was born and must have been pregnant with the second. She's hoping that the daughter gets out in May. In the meantime, she takes them to visitation day and tries to help her create a bond and hopes to help her went she gets home.
...a woman that I have known a while comes into the store and she is fostering three small children under the age of 3 whose mother is 22 years old completely on her own. The father and the grandfather have probably abused the children and are in prison the mother wants the children back but works the overnight shift at Wal-Mart and has absolutely no support system here. The case worker is headed to a hearing to recommend terminating her rights.
...a man walks into the store and he has obviously been beaten...to a pulp beaten...His wounds have been treated but are still fresh. He is walking with a cane and shaking uncontrollably. He is coming in for a purpose--he knows Glen (the former manager) will give him a ride home. He has taken the bus from the Downtown Medical Center to the bus stop at store's corner. I know not to take him alone so myself and another employee take him home, if he even had a home, we're still not sure. The conversation between this man and my employee is about how many times they have been attacked and how they know better than to be out at night....etc. This is their world.
...my employee's daughter shows up at home in the wee hours Sunday morning after having been out with a friend that they have warned her numerous times about. She is bleeding so badly the my employee is sure that she is going to die. She describes the scene to me with tears rolling down her face. She has been attacked by a gang of girls that were after the friend. She has been stabbed and cut with box knives. She drives herself home because no one would call 911, and when the police were called the friend won't give the names of the gang of girls. The friend walked away with out a scratch. My employee's daughter has staples in her head, a stitched wound 12 inches long from her forehead to mid throat (which I saw), a chest wound and a shoulder wound. My daughter is safe in bed in her middle class home.
These are just a few of the stories I have from the last few days--countless others come through the doors daily. My world is small, safe and protected. I am grateful. I hope in the gratefulness I am also compassionate, merciful, gracious, understanding, and tenderhearted.
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"