I read a story in the newspaper this morning that has stuck in mind. The story was about a young family with five children. The family was hit by the recession, job losses, and foreclosure. Suddenly homeless. Literally out on the street.
I looked around me—at the microwave for convenience, the stove, refrigerator with ice maker and filtered water, cupboards full of food, freezer with enough meat to last for several weeks… My closet has clothes I can wear, many which I choose not to wear for one reason or another. I have toothpaste, electric toothbrush, mouthwash, a computer, internet access, cable television, a land phone and a cell phone, and a few dollars in the bank.
By that family’s standards I’m extremely rich, yet I fall into the lower middle class range of living. My neighborhood is not the same as it was when my kids were growing up. There are gangs walking the streets, drugs, helicopters flying overhead at night and sometimes during the day. I don’t walk outside except on my street where I know some of my neighbors. I live from paycheck to paycheck. My hubby is dependent on the Veteran’s Administration for his health care because of a loophole in the Medicare system which made it impossible for him to secure insurance through that avenue.
I’m the average American. I’m a struggling artist. I know that by the grace of God I am not out on the street. Yet I know it could happen to me. It can happen to anyone.
The family I read about found shelter in a local Y and eventually with the help of The Salvation Army and other great services they are now living in a low rent home. The neighborhood isn’t the best neighborhood. Sometimes they hit the floor when they hear gunshots. The parents have started their own cleaning business, building it on their hard work ethics and never-ending faith. No it’s not a Cinderella story, but it is a story about love, faith, and a never-ending belief that hard work brings blessings.
Have you counted your blessings today?