Like many I struggle with the amount of time I should spend, and actually spent, on social media.
There's so much to do and so little time - it can be a waste.
Most often I question why I'm on social media after reading flippant or antagonistic posts, hateful comments and illogical argument. It can be astounding and discouraging all at once.
It can also allow for otherwise unknown opportunities. Affinity. Joy. Love.
Yes, here I am sitting on the fence.
I have a heart for watching my friends' kids growing and changing and those I love living through milestones and mayhem - while I am miles away.
And every so often I'm presented the opportunity to learn something or reach out to someone.
A few days ago my friend Donna shared a post my friend Jennifer made to Facebook.
Kenny York, local advocate for those who are poor and homeless and founder of Clarksville, Tennessee's Manna Cafe Ministries - a local food bank/soup kitchen - launched something called Prove It Clarksville, an effort to draw attention to homelessness.
The ultimate goal: Manna Refuge, a full-time shelter for people who are homeless.
I'm no stranger to the subject of homelessness, nor to the community discussion that surrounds the establishment of community service program sites. As a journalist, I've written about homelessness in my community and covered the creation of a Lighthouse Mission Ministries Clarksville site in 2007.
I've read countless statistics about homelessness from varied sources. For instance, a February 2011 homeless count indicated more than 9,000 people were homeless in Tennessee, with about 14 percent being veterans. (See page 34 in this Tennessee Housing Development Agency report.)
I'm grateful I've never been that statistic.
I believe in hard work, dedication to purpose, prayer — and in helping others. I never imagine I'm immune to the worst-case scenario.
Kenny York has taken to the streets, literally, to draw attention to a cause. For two weeks, he's living on the streets as a homeless man, carrying a sign by day and sleeping in a tent at night.
You can read along with him and respond at www.proveitclarksville.com.
And though I am following his journey from behind my computer screen in the comfort of my home — it makes me think.
I'm reminded to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with G-d.
To choose intentional service.
And to honk and wave when I see York on the street corner.
I'm reminded there's no one solution to any of the world's problems — it's all far more complex than that.
For certain, it's easier to talk about service, intentional prayer and gratitude — than to realize those tenets in everyday moments amidst the chaotic rush of time. But service isn't exclusive to grand acts of time and monetary commitment. Service also includes a smile, a compliment — kind words can mean more than you may ever know.
No matter how you are moved to serve, I invite you to follow Kenny's journey on his blog www.proveitclarksville.com — reblog, repost, share on social media — and to appreciate not only your comfort and abilities, but your ability to help others whatever your calling.
Click photo to see more images.
Manna Café Ministries is a faith-based philanthropy established in 2010 to meet the needs of low-income and homeless families. The ministry provides hot meals and non-perishable food, serving and distributing from varied locations throughout Montgomery County, Tennessee.
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