Because they are out, this has been an opportunity for Love INC Staff to reconnect with both "old" and "new" Neighbors in Need. We Have been intentionally calling seniors and others who may be even more isolated during this time. Each time we get them on the phone, they express how thankful they are to have an "outside" voice to speak with!
We made a call to one individual, who has received services from Love INC on and off for several years. She is older and much less mobile than when she was younger. She has always been delightful to speak with! Being alone so much can help one become reflective. For the first time in all the years we have known her, we got to hear stories from an earlier time in her life. When she was a young Mom, she and her family apparently lived in the Philippines for quite some time. She wasn't allowed to work while there, so she decided to create a volunteer program helping people to obtain needed items upon their arrival in the country, or dispersing those items when they moved away. While she was sharing about these experiences, her voice was filled with joy and legitimate pride in this accomplishment that helped to serve many. It was truly fun to listen to her reminisce.
It makes us wonder how many stories we miss hearing because we are too busy to be still and listen to others? Or, perhaps we miss hearing stories because people are sometimes too isolated to share with others?
This was such a sweet, fun, and gentle reminder to not neglect or forget people whom God loves - whether old or young, isolated or not. When we can connect and listen, we truly can know one another better. Our Neighbors are not just the sum of notes in a file, or a need that has to get processed... They each have rich, full stories to share. How can we continue to impart value to others? How can we better listen and show love to God's precious children?