What do people who have no family connections do for holidays? One man told me… “It’s just another day to me.”
Many of the men who graduate the Christian Life Discipleship Program at the Union Rescue Mission have no functional family to provide emotional support. Many times their family backgrounds are actually a contributor to their pain and trauma.
For others, holidays are special times when family get together. Not that every family doesn’t have some level of dysfunction, but for many, the holidays are a time we are reminded we belong somewhere!
Harry has been independent of family since he was a teenager. Like many who have experienced trauma in their family environment, Harry has struggled with trusting others and allowing people to get close to him.
Let me share this heart-warming story about Harry’s thanksgiving day but first, a little background is needed.
Soon after Harry graduated the URM year-long program he got a job and moved out of the mission, but he didn’t have a vehicle to get around. Just about the same time I received a call from one of our generous Deed and Truth supporters who was getting a new car and wanted to donate his very nice current car to a needy and deserving graduate. Harry was the fortunate recipient.
Now fast-forward a significant number of months to Thanksgiving day this past week. I sent Harry a Thanksgiving greeting and we shared well-wishes. Later in the day I received a Thanksgiving text and photo from our friend and Harry’s car donor. To my surprise, and delight, at their Thanksgiving table was none other than a smiling Harry!
Harry told me he hadn’t spent a holiday in a family environment for 35 years! Being the recipient of a beautiful car is a gift he’ll never forget and makes him deeply grateful. However, I’m not sure what might have touched his heart more… the car, or being invited to their family Thanksgiving Dinner. This Thanksgiving Harry felt something he hasn’t experienced in a very long time… he felt connected to a family… because he was treated like part of a family.
Thank God for this generous and thoughtful family who not only gave Harry a valuable gift but have maintained a friendship.That’s a powerful gift to give someone! And it filled Harry’s heart this Thanksgiving Day!