OPINION AND EDITORIAL
WE NEVER STAND SO TALL AS WHEN
WE KNEEL IN SERVICE TO OTHERS
May 03, 2009
"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."
Cardinal Roger Mahony in a 1998 letter “Creating a Culture of life”
Last month The Farm - a Christian ministry based in Snohomish and well known for years for reaching out and helping the less fortunate - did something so sweet, so thoughtful and so caring it should restore confidence in the heart of the most hardened cynic in the basic goodness of human kind.
The Snohomish ministry, with the help of dozens of volunteers, threw a huge party for special guests. Invited were families from every homeless shelter in a 100-mile radius. And what was the party they attended? A carnival.
The Farm folks filled 8 school buses with 400 happy kids and their parents and laid out for them one heck of a grand and fun day. There were carnival games, a petting zoo, miniature golf, those blow up bouncy houses the kids just love, a clown and lots of other entertainment as well as free food and prizes.
And that wasn’t all. There were volunteers there to give women from the shelters new haircuts and massages and there was new clothing, toys and books for families to go home with.
What a great and wonderful thing for The Farm to do among the many wonderful things it has done for the homeless. Unless you’ve been homeless – either as child living with a parent in a shelter or a parents living there with one or more children – you simply cannot imagine the fear, uncertainty and at times hopelessness that are your constant companions. You cannot imagine what being homeless and without funds does to your sense of self worth.
Being homeless and without funds – and therefore without the power to change your situation at the moment for the better - is one of the most stressful and frightening things a human being can experience in this life, particularly in a society like ours where your value as a human being, your usefulness and sometimes even your right to exist is judged daily by others by the amount of money you have, the car you drive, the job you go to and the home you own.
There’s a line from an old blues song that goes, “nobody wants you when you’re down and out” and brother that is the hard-core truth. Yet the fact is that in a individual oriented, capitalist society like ours that does not believe in many social safety nets as do modern European countries, being homeless is one missed pay check, one job layoff or one bad illness away for millions of Americans.
There but for the grace of God go thee and thou.
That carnival day was a sweet, gracious and wonderful thing The Farm did for those families. To able to see your kids spend the day happy, laughing and enjoying life as kids should instead of seeing the fear and uncertainty in their faces is a gift worth its weight in gold for any parent.
We should all give thanks to God that The Farm, and the people who make The Farm what it is, exists in our community.
The Farm ministries, located at 11212 – 92nd Street SE in Snohomish, could always use a donation – either in your time and/or your money – as these types of events are labor and cost intensive to produce. All contributions to The Farm are tax deductible.
Bruce Karr founded The Farm some 14 years ago after almost dying from heart failure. He recovered through a series of operations and decided to dedicate the rest of his life to helping kids.
Please consider putting The Farm Ministries on your list of worthy entities to donate money to. The Farm is a local, proven, positive force for good in the Sky Valley.
We are humbled by The Farm’s commitment to uplifting the hearts and souls of American brothers and sisters who’ve hit a temporary hard patch in the road.
Donations can be sent to The Farm Ministries, 11212 – 92nd Street S.E. Snohomish, WA 98290.