Saturday, August 06, 2011
At the end of the school year, Breakthrough puts on an awards night for all the kids who attended their after school program during the year. This past year, they celebrated 10 years since the program started. Through this video, Breakthrough's staff wanted to honor the kids, and showcase their development, their dreams, and their sense of pride in what they have done over the last year.
More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and to be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.
- Henri Nouwen