Yesterday was a strange day for me.
I received a call from one I cannot say, about something I cannot talk about, about a thing that is distressing to the soul of a person that believes in the fundamental goodness and authenticity of people, and one who is 100% focused on an agenda that squarely empowers poor and underserved people. I will simply absorb what I heard and keep it moving. God always sorts it out, but I really do understand why so many who do this empowering work in communities get tired, and decide that it is simply too much for them. I do understand, and I am also strongly encouraging these incredible leaders in and of our larger community to take a breath, and to then 'keep it moving.' Your leadership efforts, and your work on behalf of others, are not in vain.
Just think where the world would be today if Nelson Mandela gave up and gave in to hate, in his 26th year in prison (he was there for 27 long years).
Or if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have thrown up his hands, and given in to dispair, a mere one 'I Have A Dream' speech short of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (he gave that same speech many times before that famed March on Washington, in August, 1963).
Part of the active encouragement that keeps us from giving up, is the reality that hope is always right around the corner.
I was in a Georgia department of motor vehicles office yesterday morning, handling some rountine business for my family, and all of a sudden I saw a group of employees gathering behind the particular plexiglass window where I was standing. Normally, this is not necessarily a good sign — State employees gathering behind a turminal with your name on it. This day was different.
Two employees spontaneously reached their hands through the plexi-glass, asking if they could shake mine. They all began talking in glowing terms about the work of Operation HOPE, how much they knew about it, how it touched them, and how much my team has done to uplift and change communities they care about. They then thanked me personally, and asked me the most touching question. "How could they each volunteer?" They wanted to join the movement themselves. They wanted to help.
People who, it is conceivable, live and work from paycheck to paycheck every two-weeks, were ready and willing to give any remaining time and resources they had to join and 'back' the silver rights movement that I and we have dedicated our lives too. There is no larger compliment to and for what we do.
At the end of the day, this is the message and the memory I would hold onto. This is the one that mattered most. Everything else, was simply what I often call "a high class problem." A continued reminder for us all, of what matters most in life.
Rainbows after storms. Just remember, that we cannot have a rainbow, without a storm first.