This evening I received word that a man who I had been working to help re-create his life after returning home from prison, ended his life.
Over the past months, I had begun to understand his flickering light of hope. Throughout his life he suffered many challenges. From being unwanted, to abuse, to a dark place of self loathing. His spirit had tried to hold onto tiny sparks of hope amidst many storms.
What I have witnessed in my work and in my life, is our inability as people and as a culture to actually foster change and believe in redemption. As we bear witness to others changing, we are required to change. We are required to respond, to be affected. That is where change for many stops, in the reflections of others fears.
This evening as I lay in my beloved's arms mourning the loss this special mans light, through the tears, we spoke about the ripples his life have created. How in that moment, we had been touched, the friends who have consoled me this evening, you as you read this post have been touched.
How we choose from this moment to be affected is our choice. How can each of us foster change within ourselves and others in a way that is patient, kind and faithful?
I am changed - instead of running away because I am hurt and afraid, am have become emboldened, more than ever, in the work I do. I choose to allow this to fuel my work and strive to help others see the power of faith.
I ask that you allow others to change and open your heart to how you will be changed to make this world a more loving place. May we each allow ourselves to be affected by a death and be reborn in the love of Christ.