Thoreau said, “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.” But the longer I live and the more I see I believe that it is women who are living these lives. And working at Church of the Reconciler, there is a feeling that it is the women and children that suffer the most.
I thought of this even more when we got the news that Alice had been attacked and there was a chance that she would not make it as she was going through surgery at UAB. She has been livng a life of desperation for a long time and the thing I regret is that until this tragedy I barely noticed Alice.
I don't know how many times that Alice passed me in different parts of the church, but this tiny, quiet lady rarely speaks and just goes about her day doing what ever it takes to get through that day. So all I could think of was missed opportunities, and for a while would I have a chance to get to know her.
As terrible as the last few weeks have been, because of the quick reaction by the community that we serve, the local police and the gifted surgeons and and medical personnel at UAB, Alice is not only alive, but is now in a secure place where she is healing and getting better every day. And I have had a wonderful opportunity to talk to Alice and not only notice her, but also honor her presence in my life.
As I think of our community that I am grateful to be a part of each day, I must see those that are not the loudest or most animated, but who come each day just trying to make it through another day. We all need to stop and see those whether it is in the Church of the Reconciler or just walking the sidewalks of the city or even driving by those places where our community lives and exist.
We must not wait for the next tragedy or horror story to make us stop and see those around us. There are many Alice's that pass by us each day, let's honor them and receive the blessings that come with having them pass into our lives. We need to help both the men and women that we serve live lives of love and grace, not desperation.