Today I sat with a man who has been out of work for 2 years. He had a wife and kids. He is tall, young and burly. On his foot is a huge walking boot. This Wednesday, the surgeon is removing part of his foot and ankle and replacing it with a cadaver bone, tendons and ligaments. He is worried. He is tense and repeatedly wipes the sweat from his face. We do some deep breathing together.
A few weeks ago he told me how much therapy is helping him; learning the relaxation exercises, being allowed to weep, being validated. He told me that he told his wife that he liked my smile and the way I looked at him. I saw him as a human of worth he said...
Today as we talked he told me he was a Muslim... "but not the crazy bad kind, Miss Martha, I am not that kind..." and my heart broke.
He is a sweet gentle man who loves his wife and kids. He wants so desperately to work again. He wants to get better. But he fell through the cracks. He was treated by a doctor who misdiagnosed his injury and sent him back out to work on a broken foot which then became infected and he nearly died. He contacted a lawyer and was told "the doctor is a big man, I will not win"...
Again, my heart broke for him. He is not the only person I have seen lost in the system
He has applied for SSI but was denied. He is now going on 2 years of not working. His wife gets up at 4 am to work at a children's daycare. They have almost used all their savings to stay afloat. They moved here from Venezuela to pursue the American Dream and almost made it. They were ready to buy a house when he was injured. He doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs.
He is not the only person I have encountered this month wanting to work, to want to not be in "the system".
I have sat with Muslims, Christians, men, women, gay, straight, transgendered, every race and color and religion. By and large the majority are hard working people just trying to do the right thing.
Broken people trying to heal in an ever increasing broken world...
Often when they leave after baring their souls, they hug me. They shake my hand, they thank me. For a brief time they are heard. They matter. They get to say whatever they need to say. I am so incredibly honored to share this time. I am so blessed to be a conduit for healing. I spend holy time with them. I see the Christ in each face that walks through my door. I see the brokenness of the world and the incredible love of God. I am so very blessed to be a servant to a loving God.