St. John’s Ministries shines as a ring of light in the darkness

A symbolic experience as day became night.

Watching the solar eclipse in a hospital room.

Earlier this month, people of all ages gathered to watch the phenomenon of the solar eclipse. An event that won’t happen in the lower 49 for another twenty years! Students watched during recess. Families raced to their local park. Coworkers watched during their lunch. Millennials recorded on their devices. I was bedside with an 85-year-old guest in a hospital room.

In the hospital, waiting for answers, waiting for action, we watched the solar eclipse on the news. While watching, I said to myself, “never forget this moment.” Not because of the rarity, but because it reminded me why I show up to work everyday. I show up to advocate, assist and come alongside women to better themselves and their quality of life. This is what I provide, it is what St John’s Ministries provides.

During the eclipse, as the moon overlapped the sun, a ring of light appeared. I scanned the TV in awe and shared a laugh with the guest as she sang a line from Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” As the ring of light appeared I sat in the desperation of wanting to best serve the guest in front of me. In that moment I was reminded that St John’s is a “ring of light” to so many.

The ring of light.

Moons of all shapes and sizes block the light for many that we serve, creating darkness in their lives. The moons may represent trauma, depression, broken homes, financial issues and substance abuse. Every person we serve has their own moons blocking out their light completely. This is where St John’s Ministries enters. We slide behind the many moons of our neighbors in need and become a ring of light in their lives. Staff, volunteers, and peers at the shelter are often the only light shining for our guests.

St. John’s Ministries shines as a ring of light in the darkness of homelessness and all that comes with it. In the desperation and heavy lifting of being a voice for those who’s have been muted, I am thankful to be a ring of light. The hope is that our ring of light will become bigger and brighter in the lives of guests needing us. Until then, we will be here, shining our light on whoever may have a moon blocking their view.

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