Friday, May 05, 2006

A thousand points of light

Former president George Bush promoted a thousand points of light, people who had contributed greatly to their communities. I don't remember any of the particular people he honored, but I know some who should be honored.

Faith Lockwood, who works continuously for the good of the teenagers who are pregnant or already mothers, is a good example. I'm sure that people everywhere ask her about her work or offer her things to help, and lots of us pray for her girls and their babies. She is never off-duty because I'm sure she never quits thinking about them.

A man I met recently calls himself a procurement volunteer. He talks with agencies that help people and tries to find those who can donate things they need. I don't know how much money he has added to the coffers of these agencies, but I know that he has saved them thousands of dollars by procuring material things they need. He asks his neighbors; he solicits online in the Freecycle community; he scavenges things off the street where they have been discarded. And, he procures good will for each agency in which he volunteers.

Today I had a phone call from my goddaughter who struggles so hard to make ends meet in a family that would have caused most of us to commit suicide. By scavenging materials, buying a few things, getting her children's friends and their families to help, she has managed to build a storage shed behind her house. It needed a roof until a few months ago when members of the Hispanic community helped put up the last pieces of tin. Now a church friend is there putting doors on the place, and I'm sure he will make it water-tight and safe for them to use. He's in the construction business, but he still finds time to help those in need. He runs in the race for Heart disease, the CROP walk, and others that I have forgotten. He gives platelets regularly. He and a few other friends did all the inside work for an elaborate church annex, and he still found time to hand fashion pieces of furniture for the building.

I have a friend who works with pre-school children, helping them learn how to exercise their bodies to grow strong and stay strong. Another friend works with the mental health clients of a public agency, listening to their needs and helping them have a say in how they receive care. Her agency is sagging, and she works long hours to reassure people and put policies in place to care for them.

When we received our foster daughter, the time was past six pm as they convened a group of social workers and placement people around a large table to discuss what could happen. Most government workers go home when their eight hours are over. These people care about children, and so they stay until the job is finished for the night. They listen and ask questions and together make decisions that affect lives already in turmoil. They are not perfect, but they keep trying to make life better.

These are a few of my thousand points of light, and I think of them like the stars I see in our night sky. I like seeing these stars - the ones in the sky and the ones in my life - so I avoid bright lights that blind me to them.

I also have a thousand points of light that are the tiny green and red lights on appliances guiding me as I walk through our house in the dark. I walk safely when I can see them. but, when I've been in the bright light, these tiny points aren't very visible and I walk into things. So, I've learned to wait until my eyes adjust to the darkness in order to see my points of light.

When I get so busy doing and going and managing, my eyes can't see the thousand points of light that are the people who guide my life. They are my role models, my stars. So I have to slow down and wait for my eyes to adjust once again to the points of light and be guided by their brightness in the dark places of the world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are so many unsung folks out there who give to others. Thanks for sharing part of your list.