a reason to wake up.

15 03 2011

Carolyn Chu, Jesuit Volunteer in Tacoma, WA, shares a reflection on her placement at L’Arche Tahoma Hope:

“Each day at work is a reminder that I have a reason to wake up in the morning.  My time at L’Arche Farm and Gardens has been challenging and occasionally frustrating, yet full of laughing, singing, dancing and playing in the dirt.  When people ask what I do at L’Arche, I usually tell them that I just run around on a farm all day. While I am living some kind of childhood dream, I also have this gnawing question in the back of my mind of, ‘Is this social justice?’ Yes, I work with people with disabilities, and yes, there is a social stigma with this population and yes, I still have much to learn through my work. But for a long time (and occasionally now) I couldn’t help but wonder if the work I do is important in the grand scheme of creating a more just society. On the gloomier Tacoma days, I feel like I’m only doing volunteer work to satisfy myself, but in my occasional moments of clarity (which are as frequent as sunshine in Tacoma), I see an overwhelming YES. It is important. More important than my self-fulfilling desire to know that I am working for justice is the people I work with and the growth that they make. More important is that Zach is slowly learning how to put his work boots on in the morning without reminders, and that Debra is realizing her full potential to shovel faster than any of the men. More important are Tawna, Charles, Debbie, Les, Robbie, Leana, Zach and Debra, who are my teachers in compassion and patience. From them, I have a reason to wake up in the morning.”

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