Saying Thanks by Giving of Ourselves
You're in the arms of an Angel:
May you find some comfort here.
~Sarah McLachlan- Arms of an Angel
Sometimes it's hard to receive gifts from others. It's easier on our birthdays or at Christmas time when we expect gifts. But what if they arrive for no particular reason. What if we feel we don't deserve them? how do we give thanks for them? Sometimes we thank others for gifts they bestow on us. Sometimes we return the favor. Sometimes we respond with our generosity to others.
The movie Pay it Forward suggests what would happen if we all responded to others' gifts with our own acts of kindness toward others. Sharing our good fortune can benefit those we know well or just in passing. the gift of our generosity may eventually help people we will never meet and perhaps return to benefit us.
You might think this topic occurred to me because it's around Thanksgiving time. That's part of it but there is another reason too. Some time ago I heard of Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center. Finally I took the time to visit. I discovered that it is one of the ministries of Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester. I never heard of a church operating a mental health center. my curiosity stirred.
The Center began nine years ago in response to the need for mental health services on the part of the working poor who earn too much for Medicaid but whose lack of insurance or inability to make copays leaves them unable to afford needed help. Starting small, the Center grew over the years and now consists of three psychiatrists and twenty therapists donating their time. other therapists in the community accept referrals for unpaid services.
In addition to counseling, the Center provides a support group for mothers of prisoners, assistance for young men during and after incarceration, a peer support group and referral to other community services. Proceeds from new unto others, a home furnishings consignment shop, donations from Spirtus Christi parishioners and from the the community fund these efforts.
No one is born with a spirit of generosity or caring for others or with an arsenal of therapeutic or other useful skills. most of us work hard to develop our gifts. But I dare say we have all had others reach out to care about us and help us hone the abilities we now possess. the support of our parents and relatives, teachers and colleagues have helped us enhance them over the years.
Spiritus Christi Mental Health's talented and generous therapists and their support team provides a community response to serious and often desperate needs of those who have little or no other recourse. What if the rest of us followed their example by sharing our talents with those most in need of them without expecting anything in return?
Life Lab Lessons
- What are your unique gifts?
- Who helped you discover and perfect them?
- Who could benefit from you sharing your gifts with them?
- Are you ready to pay it forward?
- Give it a try.