How does a lawyer, accountant and tax specialist find common ground with the homeless, the poor, the addicted and with an organization established to serve them? How do I from “over there”, fit in “over here”?
It’s a two part answer. The first is that I believe strongly that we all bear the image of God. All of us: the cherub looking child who really doesn’t know what is going on; the abused parent looking for shelter and safety who is bewildered at what is going on; the long term addict who knows what is going on and longs for release from the addiction; the individual looking for a place to lay their head for a few days or a few weeks who may or may not want to change what is going on; the crack addict looking for a safe haven for just a few minutes or a few hours who may at that time not be aware that anything is going on; the shopper looking for something to put on; the new Executive Director just starting to learn what is going on: we all bear the image of God. Consequently, we all have dignity. We all deserve each other’s respect, and have a responsibility to show each other respect. Our common ground is that we all bear the image of God, and that has implications for and gives impetus to all we do.
The second part is that “over there” is really “over here”. We are all in one sense or another “here”. This is our world, our society, our city. And because we are all “here” the answer to the question, “who is my neighbour?” gets longer and more inclusive and is followed by the question, “what can I do for my neighbour?”. And I am finding the answer to that question is getting longer too. I do what I can, where I am, with what I have. We do what we can, where we are, with what we have. And that sounds like a fit to me.
Peter Rozeluk, Executive Director