Thursday, April 30, 2015

sometimes, you just have to take the first step.

i've been sitting on a dream of mine for nearly half of a decade now [that sounds more dramatic than 'for five years'] and have recently decided that now is as good of a time as any to get crackin on making it happen.

my dream job? to bridge the gap between two overlooked people groups [youth and the poor] through eye opening experiences, practical teaching, and personal reflection.

i remember the exact conversation that opened my eyes to see that my dream was not only possible, but meaningful.

i may have shared this before, but i was hanging out with some of my friends in a soup kitchen one day when i noticed that one of my street friends had a tattoo on his neck. curious about it, i asked him what it signified.

"this is the date my wife was born, and this one" he said as he choked up, "is the date she passed away".

he then began to tell me and one of the youth i was with about the day his whole life changed forever.

he, like many others, found comfort in a bottle. and another. and another. until his very life consisted of making trips to the local beer store in attempt to numb his unimaginable pain. before he knew it, he lost his job, his kids, and lastly, his house, causing him to become 'just another' invisible fixture on the city's cold and lonely sidewalk.

i obviously felt his pain [who wouldn't?], but having my dad still around at the time, i didn't understand grief the way i do now. but ashlea did. and i sat there in awe as i watched a 15 year old girl from wichita, kansas connect with a 40 some odd year old toronto man over the loss of a loved one.

that was a defining moment for me; a moment where my dream of bridging the gap between what would appear to be two unlikely people groups became realistic for me; realistic because i just watched a connection happen right before my very eyes.

so here i am, 'half a decade later' taking a step towards creating my dream job, and putting my gifts, passions, and experience, to use.

mark my word. one day, i will have a place downtown toronto where youth [and whoever wants to, really] can come and stay the week or weekend, learn about homelessness and other social issues in the city, hear real-life stories that break down the pre-conceived ideas they [we] have about those on the margins of society, challenge the barriers of judgement that we have so easily built around our hearts, and have the opportunity to actually serve at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters and the like.

but for now, i will hand out water.

after all, every dream begins with a single step.

will you join me?

operation hydration. this saturday. downtown toronto. 1-3ish. get at me for deets.

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