A women’s networking organization collected over 800 articles of women’s business apparel, shoes and purses for Dallas/Fort Worth’s Attitudes & Attire™. Afterwards, my friend Brandy Wismer, along with a handful of volunteers, sorted and loaded the clothes into a van in the 100+ degree Texas heat. Would their effort make a difference to anyone? Wilted and ready to be done, Brandy remembered a similar event that put the heat and her
sore feet into perspective.
Several years ago, I worked for an organization that helped women on welfare transition into the workplace. Some clients were fourth generation welfare families with
no history or concept of what it was like to be an independent working woman.
One of the women was a 21-year-old single parent with four children. She had her first
child at age 15 and never worked. My counselors recognized how quickly she caught on to new information. They believed she had potential but had never been given a chance. Through our program, we bought her a business suit for interviews. She landed her first job as a receptionist. After that, we lost contact.
About 5 years later, while walking to a meeting on the SMU campus, a professionally attired woman approached me to thank me for opening the door to her first job. I recognized the single mom with four children who I’d met years before. She was now married, employed as an administrative assistant to a Vice President at SMU and working on her undergraduate degree. All because an organization furnished a business suit and someone saw potential, both of which lead to her first job and a new world of opportunity.
Who knows how many more women’s lives will change now because of one organization’s clothing drive? And, who knows how many lives take a different course because you reach out with a helping hand, a word of encouragement, or a charitable contribution. Although we may never have a chance encounter like Brandy to know the difference we make, we are still the hands and feet of Christ. A fellow college student wrote this reminder I’ve carried with me since graduation…
I stand on a hill and shout to the wind,
I am free! I am free!
In my soul, I am free!
Then my gaze falls on one slowly trudging the road,
And I know,
I am bound! I am bound!
~Margaret J. Zednik
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34, NIV)
©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.