Tuesday, December 04, 2007

There But for Grace

Life had worn him down. He seemed to be in a place far past desperate and it appeared he'd let go of hope a long, long time ago. A war vet in his early 60s, he'd survived a couple of heart attacks and had three stents which limited his ability to do much manual labor. I didn't hear his whole story, just enough to know he was looking for work. His pension, no where near enough to cover the most basic standard of living - rent and groceries. He was barely existing and looking for any unskilled job he could get to bridge the gap until his social security "benefits" kicked in.

There's a small group at a local church that helps people transition between jobs and they shared information about resources, assistance, other church-based programs that would help him through. Four good men, with careers and opportunities and nearing his age, are part of a ministry started to help those in their community that are between jobs. The intent is to share information on networking, resumes and interviewing. They provide help with the skills necessary to compete and be considered for more professional jobs. They also listen, let people tell their stories so they can then go out into the real world with a more positive perspective about finding a job. I don't suspect though that this group, in a more affluent church, anticipated they would actually encounter this. Know it existed, perhaps - see it first-hand, I doubt it. As they provided advice and counsel, I wondered if any of the four of them thought...there but for grace...I sure as hell know I did.

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