Do you know what it’s like to want and can’t have? To be so hungry that you eat dirt so you don’t feel so…empty! Do you know what it’s like to not have running water, to do homework by candlelight. To steal and lie and hustle to help out your family?
And some nights skinny then reminds bigger now of the times when he brought home food found at the landfill, fished for compliments and crawdads, sold squirrel and black birds to pay for school clothes.And yesterday I wondered! What good is my master’s degree if I can’t even master me?
See I fight …for the father who desperately wants to provide. But in shame he cries in the shadows of his own pride.I fight… for the mother who stands in welfare lines, wanting more, defined by less knowing that this is not her best.
I fight.. . for the son whose hunger pangs are so loud that he can’t focus on his lesson so he sits embarrassed by his stomach’s angry confession.I fight…for the daughter wearing hand me down smiles and borrowed blues forced to wear too tight shoes.
I fight ...for grandparents on fixed incomes feeding mama’s children when baby’s daddy runs.I fight, I live and I learn to shape dreams from the fist of poverty’s grip as I fuse the light in their eyes with mine and pray to God to help them find hope inside.
And this ain’t easy! It is hard to lift self-esteem when dreams have been assaulted and peppered with despair so much so that they’ve forgotten to breathe freedom’s air.
I didn’t choose this fight, this fight chose me. And I want my example to foster a deep desire for survival no matter how loudly suicide speaks of rivers. Because I believe that if they see my love and feel my soul reaching out to them that this simple act of kindness will change their lives forever.And now that I’ve made peace with this section 8 hate, now that I’ve overcome the demons of then... I know that every time I find a new resource, service, home I am reconnecting the dots of frowns and turning them into smiles. People ask why do I fight poverty with so much energy and passion? And I tell them it’s because I know that I am still fighting for that little boy inside of me!
TRAC PSH Coach at CitySquare
May 17th 2016