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Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Power Of An Extraordinarily Ordinary Person---Jackie Pullinger and the St Stephen's Society

I had been struggling mentally for three days with a presentation I gave Saturday night.In my religious tradition, Saturday, November 2, and Sunday, November 3, we would be remembering in prayer All Souls, all those people who had died and who were now with God or soon (whatever words like "soon" have to do with eternity and mystery) would be with God.

I had three concerns:
1. I think that, right here and now, God and all those who in heaven with God are united with us...
2. Together with them we have been placed here to touch each other with love
3. That love strengthens, enlightens, inspires, and heals all those we reach out to... either in word, deed, or prayer.To sum up my concern, I think that each one of us has the power to make a difference in many, many people's lives. I fear that far too few of us think that.
So I found myself searching for some story that would help people realize that each one of us is a daughter or son of God who was created to help make this world a wonderful place.

One story I found was the video, The Law of Love, The Story of Jackie Pullinger:
In the sixties Ms. Pullinger went to Hong Kong to help people spiritually. She found work in the poorest part of Hong Kong, where she reached out to the victims of sex trafficking and heroin addiction. She quickly discovered that deeds not words made a difference... that broken people are helped by someone telling them that God loves them; rather they were going to be helped by those who chose, in God's name, to love them. She started teaching the children, helping adults to get food and shelter, and supporting addicts in recovering from their addiction.

More on Jackie Pullinger? Check out Wikpedia article:

Once people began to realize that Jackie Pullinger was going to stick with them through thick and thin, they started coming to her, taking her support, and letting go of their addiction.
Recovering addicts started helping other addicts. In the film, The Law Of Love, Many broken people began leading healthy lives, got jobs that enabled them to take care of their families, and created a neighborhood where all felt accepted and safe.
With God's support and each other's help ordinary people are doing wonder-full things.

I did not use this story in my presentation. But Jackie Pullinger's story inspired me to speak passionately. And I found this video on You Tube which celebrates the work Ms Pullinger and the community of recovering addicts, former victims of sex trafficking, poor people, judges, health professionals, other concerned individuals, are doing... ordinary people together doing wonderful work.


Stephanie Frieze said...

I think it's comforting to celebrate this time of year with remembering those who have gone on ahead of us, Joseph.

JosephMcG said...

I find myself feeling secure and warm knowing the love that has been given me by so many who have died... I hope that I shall choose, in their honor, to be loving to others...