(Day 9) On caring community and changing...
“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively.
“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
~ Trina Paulus
This morning saw me head to Springhill as if it was a regular workday. Over the weekend I received a call from the partner of a man I had the privilege of working with over a number of years. He was having a difficult time and needed some support and encouragement. My supervisors within CSC approved my going to visit him so I headed to the Institution, did some paperwork and then headed to Halifax about 9AM.
Along the way I called Clarence Deschiffart who facilitates the Kairos Marathon program and inquired about meeting for lunch before my other meeting. Clarence informed me that he was meeting with Tracey Demmons, Director of the Charles Taylor Centre for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care and invited me to come along. We had a delightful vegetarian lunch at Satisfaction Feast on Robie Street and Tracey and I shared with each other about our hearing impairments and some of the challenges we face in our work.
Change is difficult. It is difficult for those of us with disabilities. Getting used to new sounds and the difficulty in orienting the location of a sound or speaker, paying attention to where you are sitting so as to position yourself best to hear - doubly difficult when there are two hearing impair folk whose hearing impairment is in opposite ears and they are across the table from each other! A little game of musical chairs in a small restaurant - people must have wondered what we were up to!! Sometimes, as Tracey and I agreed, there is just too much noise, it gets to be too much work to cope with the change of hearing and it feels so right to just turn the hearing aid off and enjoy the quiet.
Change is difficult. It can be especially difficult for those men and women who are released from prison - released with minimal assistance in dealing with what is oftentimes a history of abuse, neglect, poor choices and little family or communal support. It seems like such a small thing, but it is huge step when one who usually just gives up and goes back to the "old way" takes that step and reaches out for help, takes a risk and opens up, gets honest with themselves and the ones they love. It is an even bigger step when that same persons realizes at the same time that there are somethings that they need to give up in order to grow into all that they can be.
Creating community that fosters and nurtures change is one of the facets of this ministry that is so very rewarding.
On the sabbath road...