Newsletter – Spring 2011
How Many People does it Take to Open a Window?
Usually folks volunteer for a community agency because they want to tutor a student, build a house, or help a family, etc. Most would not say that the reason they want to be a volunteer is so they can be there to help open a window. Yet that is probably every volunteer’s most meaningful task.
All of us have heard the phrase, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” I’m a little ashamed to admit how unreceptive I am to feel-good platitudes when I am in pain, emotionally devastated, or completely worn out from continued failures. Maybe it is because when the weariness of life blocks out the light it is next to impossible for me to grasp that glimmer of hope. Yet, a few weeks ago I feel like I actually saw a window being opened…
CRASH! There is nothing quite like that sickening sound of metal crunching metal. In the parking lot right after Monday Night Reading, I neither heard nor saw the crash. In fact, nobody knew the accident happened except the driver of the old truck that backed into the new Porsche. (That’s right…a Porsche! Aghhhhhh….)
The distressed college-aged,Latina driver of the old truck grew up participating in MNM’s programs and now faithfully comes to read to other refugee and immigrant children—which is what she was doing there that evening. Although she has lived in theUnited Statesalmost all her life, she can not get the proper documentation allowing her the right to get a driver’s license, insurance, hold a job, or apply for college financial aid. But,. she is trying so hard – scrimping and saving to earn money to help her family and pay the high out-of-state tuition required of those without documents.
Instead of driving away, Miss Truck walked back inside to find the driver of the Porsche (another MNM Volunteer). Although devastated at what it might cost, she promised to pay whatever needed to fix it. I felt so sorry for her. Why would God push her back, hindering her efforts to pay for necessities when she was trying so very, very hard to move ahead? How would she have enough money to attend school next semester? SLAM! Door closed.
But here is when a volunteer becomes more than a volunteer. Mr. Porsche was so kind to her – treating her with a gentle respect stemming from his love for God. Without anger or trying to humiliate her, they discussed how much the deductable would be. The very next Monday, Miss Truck paid her debt—$1,000 in cash from her hard earn savings.
A few weeks later, out of the blue, Mr. Porsche received a refund check from his insurance agency – $800! No one was more surprised than he, except maybe Miss Truck when he handed her the money. Whoosh! Window open.
His joy in being able to return such a large portion of her payment was obvious— stating emphatically to her that this refund had nothing to do with him but was totally God’s idea. He told her how much God loved her and, quite obviously, was taking care of her.
Go figure…if Miss Truck had not dented the Porsche, had not been a person of honesty and integrity, had not been responsible and paid for her actions…she never would have seen, in such a tangible way, how God actively loves her and is taking care of her. That realization gives a HUGE reason to believe and have hope. When that window does open, the Light comes flooding in.
And although we all know that God doesn’t need anyone to help Him open that window, I know Mr. P. is a really special guy and very blessed to be part of it.