Simple card game can bless someone

Posted: January 15, 2016 in homeless, homelessness, shelters, Uncategorized

In our shelter we try to be very relational with our guests who stay here.

Have you ever seen the movie called “What about Bob”? It is a hilarious comedy about a therapist and one of his clients. Bob played by Bill Murray is the main character who was referred to this new therapist. At the start of the movie the therapist tells Bob that he won’t see him until a certain day because him and his family are going on vacation. Well Bob did not like the sounds of that and followed them on their vacation, and constantly showed up, the therapist was very frustrated, but his family loved Bob. I will attempt to find a clip on YouTube, but Bob is someone who becomes so dependent on others he really doesn’t understand the concept of boundaries.

When you work in a shelter or a ministry similar to one, you will often find people like this. People who just need a little extra care and attention, it is easy to get upset, but it can be a great relationship if you learn how to adjust. I have definitely had people like this in my life, and they can be frustrating, but they can also be wonderful and light hearted.

The reason I shared about the movie, was because I never made the comparison in my mind, but my boss told me about a guy who reminded him of exactly Bill Murrays character. One evening this person we will call Marvin walked into my boss’s house, while he was in bed, walked up the stairs, knocked on his bedroom door, and asked him to make him eggs.  I think this story is hilarious, but it also shows the simplicity of some of the people we serve.

Marvin was at our community drop in last night, and sat down beside me and we started talking.  All of a sudden he got very excited and said “Want to learn a card games?” I forget what the name is, but it seemed like a cross between black jack and crazy 8’s.

He was so excited to teach me this game, so I sat there and let him instruct me. He told me that I caught onto the game quickly, but I questioned him asking if he just made the rules up as he went. He assured me he did not.

I started out saying that our shelter wants to be very relational, and that is exactly what I was doing. I had people to talk to and things I could have been doing, but let’s not forget why we are here, and that’s to love, encourage, empower and speak life into the people who come to our shelter. We have plaques up all over the place in our shelter and community center that says:

What is a guest?

A guest is the most important person ever in this shelter… in person, or on the telephone.

A guest is dependent on us to offer helpful services and support.

A guest is not an interruption of our work, but the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him, he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.

A guest is someone to be treated with dignity and respect at all times.

This is what a guest is to our staff. We want to take the extra time and make everyone feel safe, accepted and loved in a community of faith.

It really blessed me last night learning this new card game, and I am sure he will want to play again soon.


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