I didn't intend to blog again today, but of course, sometimes you have to just go with it.
This afternoon after cross-country practice, Molly, Margaret, Katherine, and I dashed off to Margaret's house to meet up with their youth pastor and John (who is in our grade, though I'm not particularly close to him), and Will ended up going as well.
We got to Samaritan Ministries later than planned, but soon, we were working, serving food to the men that would come in. We would cheerfully say "hi!" as they came in, pausing momentarily in our tasks to flash smiles.
After all the work was done, we retreated to the common room, where some played cards while others talked or watched a football game on TV. Margaret was speaking in Spanish to a man that works as a construction worker; I couldn't understand every detail of their conversation, but I understood enough that I knew what was going on. It must be comforting for him to have the opportunity to speak to somebody in such an environment, and talk about his life and topics beyond this town.
Anyway, at 10, there was a devotion. Usually I shy away from discussing religion on this blog, but I am going to address it now, because that devotion was the best I have ever seen. It was inspiring in a way I had never seen, and being in that room, filled with these people, attention centered on this one man, who is the director of the Samaritan, was really interesting. I couldn't help but realize how BADLY some people need to have a God in their lives. They need the guidance and comfort of somebody watching over them, the idea of the good that is coming in their lives. Pulling through a dark time defines these people, and as they continue to struggle, the message of a god that is looking out for them is necessary.
Tonight, two men were saved at the Samaritan. One man had been drunk, and was contemplating suicide. Steve talked to him, and told him to stay here for the night. Later that night, another man was choking; the man from earlier in the day performed the Heimlich. The irony-- the one that had been saved, continuing on to save another man. They spoke of the purpose in each of their lives, guided by God. A reason to live. Having faith and religion gives them that reason, no matter what the difficulties in their lives.
I respect that, and it is interesting to see the ways that religion impacts people's lives. Though I am not religious, and have moved beyond the point where I can truly understand it, I find this reminder of the "truly faithful" to be a good reminder of the good that is the origin of some religious ideals.
Anyhow, I just wanted to share that. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see that, and though my personal beliefs will not likely change because of it, I did appreciate seeing the good in Christianity again. The reason religion exists is because people need God. Not everybody does, and the gods may come in different forms, but in order for some people to find purpose in their life, they need to have this idea of god.
That is all. Time to finish packing! WILMINGTON SOON! :D
Until Monday! (seriously this time)