“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
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Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
When I was just starting my job as a Youth Minister after many years of being a radio news anchor and reporter, it was not an easy transition.
Many people undoubtedly thought I had lost my mind!
I had been wrestling for years with a deep, gnawing yearning in my soul that I simply had to address or burst.
The long transition began when I returned to college for weekend classes to get a Master’s degree in Religious and Pastoral Studies while not having any idea where it would lead.
During that time, there rose new stirrings about becoming a Youth Minister.
I had never thought of that before.
After attainting my degree…it still took another three years in radio before I was offered a job as the Youth Minister of a parish.
I struggled at the start of this new challenge. Had a made a horrible mistake?
Slowly I found my way.
Early on, while on an outing to a soup kitchen in the inner city with a small group of 8th graders, I found myself completely immersed in pouring-out water into cups for the homeless.
That’s when, above the many voices in the cafeteria, I heard a man’s voice.
He said, “Are you one of them?”
I kept pouring.
The voice came again, but this time more insistently: “Are you one of them?”
I looked up and saw a middle-aged, shabbily-dressed African American man sitting across the way at a table looking in my direction.
I thought he must be talking to someone else.
I said, “Are you talking to me?”
He said, “Yeah, YOU. Are you one of them?”
I said, “One of…who?”
He pointed past me to the lone Franciscan Friar in his brown robe who was helping to serve on the dinner line.
The homeless man said, “Are you one of the brothers?” – meaning a Franciscan brother.
I said, “Oh, no, I’m not.”
The man said, “Oh. You look like one of them.”
And I remember the same feeling I’m having now as I write this – a deep, warm feeling of gratitude.
St. Francis had been an inspiration to me throughout my new spiritual journey.
I brought a different group of students to that soup kitchen each Wednesday.
I recognized many of the homeless people who would return each week.
The homeless man who spoke to me that day – I never saw him again.
I don’t know.
Listen to the song of the day “May I Be Light” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.
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Remember: God loves you!