Posted by: Kerry Spencer | January 23, 2009

A new perspective

It might go without saying that living and working at a homeless shelter is giving me a new perspective on a lot of things. This was evidenced during a recent trip to the mall. I went to return a sweater I got for Christmas. I was most delighted to receive the $26 simply for giving back a gift. This caused me to think of some homeless friends who go to great lengths to make a buck. Some begin standing in line at the temp agencies at 4:30 am. Others give plasma twice a week (the maximum allowed) for some quick cash. Some are the folks holding the signs along the road advertising sales for department stores. And here I was just handing over a sweater that was too small.

I’ve also started looking at mall employees, none of whose jobs I’ve ever envied before, as having it pretty well. Many of the folks we serve at Jeff St. would love to have a job at JC Penney or Cinnabon or Foot Locker. They would consider virtually any steady job to be a blessing.

And even my perception of the mall patrons has changed. Somehow I now marvel at how all these folks have the money to spend at these overpriced stores. I now see them, and myself, as privileged. Or maybe I should say blessed. Yes, I am truly blessed. This new perspective helps me to recognize that truth all the more.

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