As a volunteer, sometimes it is easy to see the needs of the Street Hope folks before you really see them as a person. When I am caught up in my service to others, instead of seeing the relationship as mutual, it can result in a skewed perspective. Thankfully, this is corrected by the longevity of some of the relationships we have with folks at Street Hope, where our exchanges can be deep and real. And sometimes it takes being reminded of one’s own vulnerability and humanity to acknowledge that we all struggle, that we need each other for support and encouragement, and that each of us is dependent on Christ’s goodness and care.
Early in the year my husband Tim, who is also a volunteer at Street Hope, had a minor stroke. As a healthy and active, middle-aged man, it was a complete surprise and a bit of a shock. As Tim recovered at home one Tuesday, I went out to the RV without him. One of our long time Street Hope friends, Ron, met me on the street outside the RV. He had heard about Tim’s stroke and expressed his concern with thoughtful and meaningful words and with a big hug. Ron has experienced, and is experiencing, some medical issues of his own right now – and I think this has given him particular insight into how vulnerable a person can feel when their health, or the health of a family member, takes a sudden turn. Ever since that night, I have had a new appreciation for Ron, and for the support and care I receive from him on Tuesday nights.
Openness about our own concerns can be an asset in caring for others, giving them the opportunity and dignity to express care to us. There is also something special about acknowledgement of our mutual dependency on Christ and his grace and mercy to all of us.
-Michelle, Street Hope Victoria Volunteer
Street Hope is a project of Threshold Ministries.