I listened to Simon and Garfunkle's The Sound of Silence this morning, and am inspired to write a second gratitude entry this week!
I think there is much truth in the lyrics to this song...the metaphoric words of the prophets are most often written in places where we forget to look, and whispered in the silences we don't take time to listen to.
This song about the sound of silence kind of ties in with my previous entry, although a different way of listening to the silence. Not listening for your own sake, but listening for others. Listening for the voices of those who have grown silent, weary of having their words fall on deaf ears. Those of us living lives of wealth and privilege do too often bow and pray as lip service only. We go to church on Sunday morning, we hear the words about what we are called to do, but we do not always listen, and certainly we do not always act. In fact, we often simply return to our comfy lives and think no more about the ways in which we might help others, or the ways in which we might change the world. In fairness, it is hard to sustain a belief that one person can make a difference, so we get disheartened and feel helpless and overwhelmed at the size of the problems facing our world.
I am grateful for an employer who is engaged in charitable efforts, who offers us opportunities to respond with action. One such opportunity arose last week, when volunteers were requested to participate in the United Way Day of Caring. I, and several others from my department (I work for the provincial government) were allowed time off to volunteer and were assigned to a work team that would be painting sections of a men's shelter owned by the Metropolitan Immigration Settlement Association (MISA). A small act of helping, but every small act is a step in the right direction. Here is the story, and a couple photos of our team.
>>> UnitedWaySNSMR 10/13/2009 1:57 PM >>>
On October 7th a group of employees from SNSMR took the time out of their busy days to take part in the United Way Day of Caring.
Idris's wife passed away when she was 26. 18 months ago he and his young daughter moved to Canada from Kosovo. His daughter is now in grade 1 here in Halifax. Together they reside at MISA House in Fairview, a building which houses single men and in some cases their children.
The SNSMR team supplied a fresh coat of paint throughout their home as well as throughout the hallways of MISA House. Everyone showed great enthusiasm and teamwork and the job was finished with great results.
Thanks to all who helped make this event a success!