By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
Thanksgiving comes each year, like clockwork, whether we are ready for it or not. This particular holiday can be complicated for those who simply feel there is nothing to be thankful about.
Originally, during the Thanksgiving season, people gathered to express their thanks for the wonderful bounty provided by hard work at harvest time. While most of us do not participate in a crop harvest, we have continued the habit of celebrating and being thankful for the year’s provision.
It’s fairly easy to be thankful when the provision is right in front of our faces. But, when life’s plan is unexpectedly changed by homelessness, being thankful takes on a whole new meaning.
Sometimes, it’s hard to feel.
Trying to feel grateful for being homeless is a very large “pill to swallow.” When life goes smoothly, we can feel very fortunate and it’s easy to give thanks. But, when life’s path seems to be filled with huge potholes and there is no way around the ravines placed in the way, so to speak, it’s very difficult to feel fortunate to be in such a position.
Those unexpected changes could possibly send someone into a tailspin if they are not given the encouraging information that there is hope. Panic-stricken people who have lost the roof over their heads and the food on their table may not even know about our shelter. They just know they feel completely vulnerable and lost.
We are hopeful that they will come in contact with someone who will point them in our direction.
Holiday season or not, we continually strive to provide a comfortable place for someone to lay their head at night, where they can feel safe from the outdoor elements. We also offer three meals to each guest, every day of the year, and a shower to refresh them. In order to help each person get to the point of being back on their own again, we provide programs to assist in giving direction, depending on their individual needs.
Thanksgiving is a time that allows us the opportunity to bring back the feeling and attitude of being thankful.
We can be thankful – each of us – even in the midst of trials.
During the trial of homelessness, one can celebrate the fact that they are loved by God and have a safe place to rest while going through a rough patch of life. They can celebrate the fact that they are still breathing and able to take the next step forward. They can celebrate the fact that there are others at the shelter in the same position who can provide encouragement.
There IS hope. There IS a future beyond this moment.
It is our heart’s desire to boost the spirits, and take care of the needs, of those who have lost so much. Serving a special Thanksgiving meal, to anyone who is hungry or homeless in the Albuquerque area, is one way we can show the love that is offered by God, and us, every day.
So, the next time you come across someone who is homeless, please take a moment and share with them the encouraging news that Joy Junction is a safe place that will help them get their lives turned back around, one day at a time.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!