Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sacrificial Hospitality Challenge: Week 4

Some of you may remember that I wrote a post about why I like to say the rosary. In that post, I also talked about making rosaries with my then-3-year old son. We still enjoy making them together and that's what prompted my next challenge idea...

I recently got in touch with my sister-in-law's husband's sister (I'll let you work that out for a second...) who works in a juvenile detention center for emotionally disturbed youth. Before I go any further, let me stop and tell you how very much I admire the work she does and the strength it takes to do that job every single day. There are some occupations that I believe take a very special kind of person to do them well and this is definitely one of them.

It is a private center, actually, which is what makes my mission possible.

I asked her if it would be possible to donate some rosaries along with prayer cards showing how to say it. I have a strong suspicion that many of these young men (for it's all boys at this particular location) are very lost and could use a dose of faith. Something, someone, to believe in. Because, disturbed as they may be, no one has ever really believed in them before. It is this fact that breaks my heart... I have found comfort in the simplicity and repetition of the rosary and it is my hope that perhaps even one of these young men might some comfort as well.

Now, let me be clear and let you all know that this will be my most "removed" challenge to date. I will not actually be delivering the rosaries to the detention center. This is because I feel my children are simply too young to visit such a place right now. I don't think it's a bad thing for kids to be exposed to the "real world" at some point... for some, it's a very good thing. But at ages 3 and 4? I just think it's too soon and I don't want to risk scaring them or exposing them to crass language or vulgarity. Since I am their primary caregiver and at least one of them is always with me, I'm going to sit this one out and just pass the rosaries on. As a result, my challenge results next week might not be as specific as usual... but I'll do my best to get a report!

"(Hospitality) is not just about refilling glasses; it's about refilling confidence and restoring hope."
-A slice of pumpkin bread: how hospitality heals, by Christine Cappecchi
Will anyone join me? How can you share your faith and give hope to others? Can you think of a special way to reach out this week? Share any thoughts or ideas in the comments!

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