Thursday, September 25, 2008

you don't know until you do...

The Clothes Closet located in the church I serve didn't have maternity clothes. Even if they did they wouldn't help her because they had already given her a couple of non-maternity clothes to wear. You can only be served once and that's the rule for better or worse.

So, I took her to a Clothes Closet ministry located in a neighboring suburb. All I can say is you don't know until you experience it yourself. I went in with her and witnessed the whole process from start to finish. Because the workers didn't know me they
categorized me along with the others who needed help.

Here is the deal:
1) They loudly asked and announced personal information.
2) They asked some information multiple times with a tone of voice that was patronizing.
3) The process took forever.
4) I had the pleasure of overhearing comments made about the woman I was with. "Well, if she's not going to move back home then she can't call herself a hurricane evacuee."

As my daughter frequently says: "Like, seriously?" (For full effect you have to up-talk the last syllable!)

She's not an evacuee because she plans to settle here? Oh, I guess when your apartment blows completely away along with everything else you own you can't call yourself an evacuee. I suppose because you are not eager to run back home to absolutely nothing you can't call yourself an evacuee! "Like, seriously?"

Go sit on the receiving end of a helping agency and see what you can't see now, hear what you can't hear now. Even at their nicest....I left feeling patronized, judged and treated as if I had been a royal pain in the butt.

You don't know until you put yourself in the shoes of another person. When you do....you will be more apt to get off your high horse.
I did.


1 comment:

shawn said...

you have hit on one of my hot button issues ... just cause someone is poor or down on thier luck doesn't mean they stopped being human and feeling the same things we feel ...

Sensitivity, kindness and a dose of compassion are astounding things ... and they DO WONDERS for the soul ... the soul of the giver and the reciever ...

It's ALL about grace ... unconditional and irrationally abundant ...