by Jordan Loe, volunteer in Spokane, WA.
"As students in Spokane, it is quite often easy to get caught up in the demands of the present moment. “Now I have to write a paper. Now I have to make dinner. Now I have to rush off to class.” It is a temptation to get so focused on our own daily existence that we forget to look up and notice others. We are lucky, however, that our Lord often sends us little nudges to remind us to think of our neighbors. Our Heart’s Home experienced one such reminder this month.
After a long week of classes and the two shifts that I work on the weekends are over, I am fatigued. Saturday nights are the only evenings I have to rest, and I often need to go off by myself or have some time with one special friend in order to feel refreshed for the week to come. I admit that I am often selfish with this time, spending it only with those who are lighthearted rather than devoting it to some of our needier friends. One such night, however, my friend D. and I were going to watch a movie. We were walking along the hallway and we noticed our friend J. sitting in a classroom all by himself. Although I normally would have waved and passed by, something stopped me. D. and I went into the room, greeted J., and on a whim, invited him to watch the movie with us. He seemed happy to oblige us, and we had a beautiful evening, talking and laughing. We went home, not thinking too much about it.
Several weeks later, we saw J. again, and J. thanked us for inviting him to spend time with us that night. We did not know that that very night was his brother’s birthday (J.’s brother passed away last year), and J. had been feeling particularly upset and alone when we happened upon him. He had felt comforted by our presence, even though we did not know the depth of the pain he was experiencing. I had been jealously guarding my time that night, like I often do, and if it wasn’t for that little nudge from God, asking us to pay attention, perhaps J. would not have received the comfort he needed in his time of grief. During this season of Thanksgiving, we can only be grateful that God sends us such little reminders to take us out of ourselves , and focus on others. In this, and in all of our blessings, we give thanks."