We all have dark times in our lives. They might be caused by the loss of a loved one or a crisis at home or at work. They can leave us feeling lost, fragile and broken. Without the support of others we can struggle to climb out of the deep hole that is created by how we feel. Image that you have multiple issues to deal with, including mental health, addiction, homelessness and money problems. The hole can feel incredibly deep, with little chance of escape. Yet every day I see people offering a helping hand, stepping into the situation. They choose to step down into the hole to help others and give hope. We offer hope when we give a cup of coffee. We offer hope when we bake for a cafe. We offer hope when we sit alongside someone and hear their story or help them fill in a form. We offer hope when we give out food parcels or help someone get a roof over their head.
Providing Hope and Love is the core of all that we do at Freedom. Together we are like shining lights for people struggling with the darkness. The author of the book of John in the Bible wrote “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1v5). Sometimes I can lose sight of the reason why I get so involved with those who need a helping hand. I can get so busy doing all the practical stuff, that I forget why I began this journey with Freedom nine years ago. It is at these times that I need to take stock and see how far Freedom has come. To remember the past and the people who have journeyed alongside me. As we remember those people and their stories, we are reminded of the reason that Freedom is here. It’s here for the next person who comes through our door. To be a light in the darkness, offering hope to the hopeless and love to the unloved. For years, whenever I have been asked to explain about Freedom and its purpose, I have always said freedom does cafes, food banks, reading support, client support etc. Yet what I should have been talking about is how we offer hope in dark places. For that is simply what freedom offers… Hope and Love.