He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
A few times a month I serve at Cornerstone Day Center. Conerstone provides meals and resources for people who are homeless in the community. Last week, I was serving soup and a man came up to me with a huge grin on his face. I smiled back and asked him if he would like any soup. He shook his head and asked me if I wanted to read some poems he wrote. There was no one else in line to receive soup, so I accepted his offer and he handed me a large stack of papers. I began to read his poems; poems filled with love, pain, frustration, rejection, and hope. While reading his poems, his story began to unfold in my hands. Through rhymes, alliterations, and similes his story came to life. We talked about his inspirations for the poems and the beauty of poetry. Writing poetry is a way for him to express his experiences. Hearing someone’s story isn’t always in the form of asking questions. Sharing stories is expressed in a number of ways and I found there to be so much power in creative forms, such as poetry.
I asked him if I could share one of his poems and he smiled, “Yes, show the world more beauty.”
When I was hungry and alone
A friend took me to the cornerstone
As I sat down all alone
A women called Bridget noticed me
And she sat down and talked to me
Sometimes a word is all it takes
To raise some ones spirit
It’s never too late
I have never forget this encounter
And I tried to emulate their kindness
To help others if I can
And be like these people
And be kind to others
Too all the women and all the men
And treat them all just like brothers
One of the reasons this poem caught my attention was his focus on the relationship he made at Conerstone. He could have written about receiving a warm meal or clothes, but it was the kindness another human showed him that impacted him the most.