We (Derek and I, and the Walker in-laws) are part of a newly found "Jacob Foundation", founded by the Walker family. We had our first project last week. Hundreds of polo shirts, purchased, brought to salt lake, given to anyone who wanted and needed one. It was a very touching experience. We pulled up outside the homeless shelter, and they all gathered around very interested, very anxious to get a shirt for: court, looking for jobs, or just to feel good about themselves.
I wanted to sit with each one and ask them to share their story. I wanted to ask about their family members. Their childhood. Their dreams for the future. Many of these people were typical homeless people. But one family in particular has sparked many emotions and thoughts. They looked just like you and I. I would have guessed they were there to serve, just like us, until I saw what they were carrying. The mom looking young, sweet, blonde hair in a bun, glasses, shorts, tee-shirt, flip flops. Dad in jeans, tee-shirt, tennis shoes, buzz. Three children looking between ages 3 - 7. It looked as if they were walking away from their recently parked car. Mom and Dad both carried two sleeping bags in hand, and the oldest child carrying the last of the 5 sleeping bags. Heading towards the shelter to stay the night. They turned away from us as if they were nervous or they may know us. They seemed ashamed and embarrassed. But all I wanted to do was to give them all a big hug, take them to dinner, and pay next months rent for them. Oh if only we could do more. Completely heart breaking. For reasons I don't completely understand, this really hit home. I don't know if it's because I saw them as a completely "normal" family who just couldn't make it enough to pay the power bill, instead of instantly judging them as a drug addicted alcoholic homeless beggar.
Who am I to judge? Who am I to even give a title like "drug addicted alcoholic homeless beggar" to someone I don't know. I don't know your story. I don't know what you've been through.
I know this is getting novel like, but bare with me. Tonight I was doing what girls do during priesthood. Shopping. Well I wasn't actually doing much shopping, more just lusting after all these beautiful clothing items and jewels I would love to dress myself in. And watching the other girls shop. Confession: I would have shopped a bit more, but I had a small splurge lately. You know that deprived feeling? Yeah, no bueno.
This hurting family I don't know, but holds a special spot in my heart, came to mind. I have so many things I don't need. We are SO blessed. As I watched all of these wallets pulled out and all of these things that no one NEEDS paid for, I wondered if there were a way to pull the world together to sacrifice that one thing they only WANT really bad, and give that money or even that item to a sweet boy, girl, mom, or dad who would be eternally grateful for that one tie to go to a job interview in, or that cute bracelet to dress up that outfit they wear every day. I know this is not very likely, I just can't stop thinking of some way to help this family get back into a home. And thinking about the millions of others in this same position.
This family will hold a special spot in my heart, and forever be a reminder of what is most important in life. I don't need all those things I would LOVE to have. Now I'm not saying it's not ok to shop, cause boy is it too fun to shop and buy things to make us feel pretty, but if there was a way for us to sacrifice just that one bit. I wish I could do more.
I will re-check in the morning. I can't keep my eyes open. I could have said some really cheesy and stupid things that don't make sense. If so, disregard, and we'll be back in the morning when I can focus. Night, xoxo, and may peace be with those who are less fortunate.