Sunday, August 07, 2011

Life's Unexpected Moments

Cutest little older woman in the grocery store with her daughter stopped and said Hi to me tonight. I said Hi back. She said, "you look really nice." I said "thank you, you do too." Then she opened up her arms and wanted to hug me. So I gave her a hug. Her daughter then said, "OK, mom, let's go." Daughter smiled at me and her mom smiled bigger. Sometimes life surprises you in unexpected ways.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What is Your Purpose in Life?

Ever feel like you're wasting your life? Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing what I should be doing. I don't mean am I working where I should be. I love my job, the people I work for and work with. I know what I'm doing for my client and the people we give jobs to is very important. Not only from the point of the client who needs a person to fill a job, but also for the person who needs to make a living to support their family.

I guess I'm wondering, is there MORE I should be doing?

I recently watched a TV show called Serving Life.

Yes, it's a prison show and all of you know how I love prison shows. Usually I love them because they interview cold, hard killers who you can look straight in the face and see the "crazy." I find it fascinating how people can commit horrendous crimes and have complete disregard for other people's feelings, lives, families, themselves, etc. Maybe I should have been a psychiatrist so I could delve in the minds of these people?? Yeah, probably not.

This show featured prisoners who had committed terrible crimes, spent years and years in prison, yet most of them were still very young - but had turned their lives truly around in prison. The prison is in Angola, Louisiana. The warden of this prison works very hard to rehabilitate the men in his care.

This prison has a hospital, as most do, and a hospice unit. Prisoners can volunteer to work in the hospice but have to go through a rigorous interview and training session to be accepted in the program. The show I watched showcased 4 men, most of them had committed Murder 1 or 2, who asked to participate in the hospice volunteer program.

Volunteering in this program means these prisoners will have to do things they probably never imagined doing in prison. Cleaning up another man who can't do it for himself. Caring for bedsores, wiping their behinds. It also means as these dying, sick men come to the end of their lives, these volunteers, and fellow inmates, sit with them in 4 hour shifts so they don't have to die alone.

Watching these volunteers, most of whom had taken someone's life, hold a bedside vigil while a fellow inmate passes on was amazing and inspiring. These men had already come to grips with the crimes they committed, they live with the guilt every day, but nothing hit them quite as hard as watching another person, whom they have cared for in very intimate ways, pass on.

I sat and cried my eyes out, not only for the men who passed, but for the men who sat vigil and watched them. One of them said, "hospice is helping live life with love." Exactly what God wants from each of us.

So I'm sitting here thinking, "is there more I could do?" I've gone through phases in my life where I thought I should be volunteering to help children, volunteering to help the elderly but I haven't done anything with it.

I think I need to pray to figure out what this calling to help others inside me really is and how I should use it in my life. Honestly, I'd love to sit with those dying prisoners and help them and learn more from the inmates who care for them.

Stay tuned.