Wired for the Blessing

January 22, 2020

I sat in Ariel’s new apartment sharing pizza and conversation.  I wanted to hear her thoughts as she prepares to graduate from Bridge of Hope.

As she reflected, a repairman came to change out the stovetop.  Eventually, the landlord stopped by.  She gave me a tour of her home and showed me the rooms for herself and her son, as well as a roommate.

“When you don’t have community,” she reflected, “you don’t know what you’re missing, and you don’t see the benefit of the relationships you do have.”  She reflected on being brought up to believe that there were no really good people in the world and to only trust herself.  What she was describing was just one of many paths into the social isolation that tends to keep people in homelessness.  For Ariel, embracing community is a huge step and not something that comes easily.  She admitted she wrestles with it almost daily, but she’s owning her struggle.

“God saw my desire to want to improve my life,” she added.  “It was physically and relationally not possible, but God made a way.”

Ariel desires to step boldly into community moving forward, showing others that change and hope is possible.

“It’s good for self-esteem, good for family, and it blesses others when you don’t try to do it all on your own.”

Yes, I thought, this sounds like what Bridge of Hope is all about.  Every part of this work is a community effort – funding, neighboring, case management, volunteerism, and of course, God’s Spirit flowing within it all.  And what seems to never fail to astound me about the Bridge of Hope model is how I see it effectively helping families to change the narrative.  To grow into something new – for themselves and their children.  And always, I see their desire to give back.

“Don’t rob people of the blessing,” Ariel said as a final reflection.

Yes.  We are wired for community.  We are wired to help raise each other up.  There are systems that try to undermine this reality, but it’s ours to choose.  The blessing is ours to choose.

Wired for the Blessing