I have to admit that for the most part I’m a "news junkie." I loved knowing what it going on in the world – even when what’s going on isn’t always palatable.
Usually I get my news online and after I go through the routine of reading the "regular" news, if I have the time I do some searches for news on what’s going on in the world of homelessness.
Yesterday evening I came across two articles – both in the Victorville Daily News – which really had a strong emotional impact on me.
The first was about a gentleman named Albert Barnett, a retired corrections officer who is actually grateful for the homeless in his area.
During his career he became injured and found himself in a "dark mental state." His depression was so severe that he had even contemplated suicide. But something changed his mind: his faith.
His faith compelled him to go out to places where he was needed and "do something for others." That led him to Forest Park – commonly known in the area as the "homeless park on D Street" in Victorville, California. It has become his park of choice and it is where he give the homeless food and clothing.
Why does he do this?
Well, to quote Mr. Barnett:
"This is what I do. Sometimes I come back with food, sometimes it’s clothes. They need these things."
All of this is his way of showing gratitude for the life he has been given.
As I read the article I found myself with a lump in my throat and an aching in my heart.
But that was just beginning, because the second article was a type of "side bar" to the story. It dealt with a couple who also frequent the park where Mr. Barnett "gives back."
The couple, Tony and Teresa Buchanan have been together for about five years. In fact, they met at the "homeless park on D Street." They are homeless and the park is where they live.
Neither one of them believe that they have a genuine chance at finding a "real" home other than the one they have in the park. And, as if that weren’t enough to put a damper on the holiday season for them, Teresa was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer earlier this year. Yet, they are both grateful – grateful to have one another and the love that they share.
As Tony says:
"It’s love that keeps us going. If you really think about it, isn’t that what keeps us all going?"
They may not have a cornucopia of worldly possessions, but they have a wealth that cannot be bought and paid for with money: they have each other – something that makes them rich in spirit.
Here are the links to both articles:
I hope they make the impression on you that they had on me…