I am a mom- a mom of two awesome little people one of whom goes to school. So there has been lots of talk and news about arming, being armed, carrying, protecting, etc. and the word that has kept jumping out at me is disarmed. Stick with me because this is NOT a political statement.
Rather, I am touched by the idea of the armor that we each put on every single day, and how that whole process is illustrated by our work at Family Promise. The volunteers come in with armor on: the armor of their preconceived notions of homelessness, the armor that protects them from being vulnerable with guests who may not be open to relationships, the armor that makes them feel comfortable sleeping at a church with people they don’t know. Guests bring their own set of armor too: they have armor guarding hearts that have been hurt by many unpredictable life changes, armor protecting them from being vulnerable so they can continue to keep a proud face on for their kids, armor that keeps them from sharing their whole story until they know that it is safe.
This is a work that is disarming. Disarming for guests, disarming for volunteers, disarming for everyone who comes into contact with it. Smiles break down walls, an offer to help with a kiddo pries off a piece of armor, stereotype shaped armor crashing down when late night conversations reveal common stories. Children playing together pulling apart all the armor that remains. We walk away disarmed with old perceptions fallen away, vulnerable, and incredibly blessed by the interaction and begin walking forward together stronger for the journey.
by, Becky Peters, Director of Development