Tuesday, December 2, 2014

If You Could See Into My Heart


It’s no secret that I am a passionate person. When I am invested in something or someone, I am all in. This year has taken my already strong passions and emotions and shocked them to a whole new level. I went from being someone that rarely cried to feeling like the tears are constantly flowing, whether they are out of joy, sorrowfulness, or exhaustion as I approach the all too familiar state of delirium. My heart aches. This thought came to me as I was walking outside in negative degree weather and I threw aside all sensibilities and took off my warm, bulky gloves so that I could write my words down while still in the moment.
I keep coming back to the lyrics of my favorite song. My friend, Pat McKillen, has a beautiful way with words. While my emotions currently feel all over the place, I find clarity when I listen to his music. This specific moment of his song, Starting Today, stands out to me:

“Love the ones, love the ones, the ones that make your heart beat. Love the ones, love the ones, the ones that make your lungs breathe. Love the ones, love the ones, the ones that make your heart bleed.”

I listen to guests as they talk about how no one loves them or how they have been forgotten by our society. Those are the times when I wish that people could see into my heart. I wish they knew how much I care, how much my heart aches, how much they matter. The guests that come into the Marquard Center are kind, brilliant, hilarious, and have beautiful souls. They fill my heart up and make it hurt in ways I never imagined possible. They make my lungs breathe. I will attempt to show you a small glimpse of what my heart can’t through pictures.

I could never forget how natural it feels to sit next to Chris* and discuss everything from books to our ideas of the meaning of life in the dining room.

I could never forget how excited Veronica* got and the look on her face when I ran to my room to change so that we could be twins.
I could never forget how loved I felt when Trey* gave me a cup decorated with a childhood favorite and told me that he wouldn’t let anyone ever take my smile away.

I moved to Chicago because I felt drawn to Franciscan Outreach’s mission and wanted more exposure to the homeless population. It is important to me to gain a better understanding of all of the individuals that make up our society so that I have a better idea of how I can help. I came here with the hope that I would be able to have a positive impact on the lives of others and in return have been given a family that could never be forgotten.
*Name changed


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