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SusanDolphinDelaney

Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Reconciliation

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A homeless man burst into tears when I said, “It is an honor to serve you, sir!”

The man had thanked me for “coming out tonight (New Year’s Eve) to put on a dinner/New Year’s Eve party  at Austin Street Centre, a homeless shelter in downtown Dallas.

It was an honor to serve him and the other men and women at the shelter.

If you are a person of faith, any faith, you know this already.

My church has put on a New Year’s Eve party at the shelter for 20 years. I have been privileged to be part of it for the last 4 years.

I always staff the “bun station”. My church provides “sloppy joes” as part of the party. I put hamburger buns on plates and add a packet of plastic silverware. I hand them to the residents with a loving “God bless you, sir” or “God bless you ma’am”.

I receive so many blessings in return. Explicit and implicit. Some of the men and women I served last night were psychotic. They couldn’t process my words. But their spirits did.

Before this, from 2002-2008, I worked with homeless mentally ill persons in downtown Dallas every Tuesday and Thursday.

On Thursday nights I did a clinic at Austin Street Centre starting at 5 p.m. If it were raining or cold, the shelter would be full and I might work until 10 p.m. If the weather were more pleasant, the homeless would choose to sleep outside and there were fewer patients for me to see.

I loved working with the homeless.

I miss it very much.

There are no atheists in a homeless shelter. There is little pretense.

The homeless have one goal: to get their lives back.

Did you know that 15% of the homeless living in shelters go to work every day? The minimum wage does not allow for luxuries like housing and medical insurance.

Mother Teresa said that the US was the most poverty stricken nation in the world. Not fiscally, but in the poverty of neglect of humans.

Is there someone who you can call today and say that you love them or are thinking of them?

Do it.

Pick up the phone right now.

Reach out and touch someone.

It will bless you incredibly.

Do you know the Legend of the Starfish?

English: A Starfish from the Aegean See

English: A Starfish from the Aegean See (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A woman is walking along the shore at low tide. She picks up every stranded starfish she sees and throws it back into the sea. A man is walking along the shore inthe opposite direction. He comes along side of her and asks her what she is doing.

He scoffs at her answer.

“You cannot save them all,” he says, “it doesn’t matter”.

She looks into his eyes and then throws the starfish in her hand back into deep water.

“It matters to that one,” she replies.

Is there someone in your life who you can serve today with a phone call?

Do it.

It will matter to that one.

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I learned tonight that polymer clay artist extraordinaire, Lisa Rapp, had included one of my Nelson Mandela Turquoise pendants in her latest Etsy Treasury.

I created Nelson Mandela Turquoise to honor the life and work of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa. I made the faux turquoise in the colors of the South African flag, which signify unity. I used opaque and metallic polymer clay to make it.

Lisa Rapp is an amazing, versatile polymer clay artist. You can see her work at:

http://www.higirls.etsy.com

Check out the items in the top row. Three of them have placed in the Polymer Clay Artists of Etsy Challenges.

Lisa’s Treasury, “Feels Like Fall”, can be seen here:

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/ODk1NzgzOXwyNzIyNTM5Nzkx/feels-like-fall

Lisa has gathered together sixteen Etsy items that evoke the feeling of fall.

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Today at my church, we presented the fourth graders with their own bibles. The youth minister had wrapped the bibles in five different layers of “gift wrap”. First a mailing envelope, because it was a Special Delivery. Then festive gift wrap. Then a map, because the Scriptures would take the kids to places they’d never been. Then newsprint because of the “Good News” in the bible. Finally in gold paper to mark the bibles as treasure.

It was a beautiful ceremony, but seeing the fourth graders stand there makes me tear up every year because, statistically, it is fourth-graders that are sexually abused by clergy, altar boys and altar girls. They are so little!

Sexual abuse is a fourfold catastrophe for the child: physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual. It creates a shattering of the child that takes years to heal.

My own abuse by a clergyman happened when I was five. That’s me in at age five on the cover of my book.

My faith is strong again now. People remark on it. I would not wish on anyone what it took for me to get it back!

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I have a Pinterest board “Justice for Kids”:

http://www.pinterest.com/susanddelaney/justice-for-kids/

It is based on the “Legend of the Starfish”: A woman is walking along the beach at low tide. Every time she sees a stranded starfish, she reaches down, grabs it and throws it into deep water. A man is walking toward her and when he gets to her he asks her what she is doing. She explains. He says, “it doesn’t matter, you can’t save them all.” She throws the starfish in her hand into deep water and looks him in eye kindly. “It matters to that one.”

Every time I come across a photo of a starfish on Pinterest, I pin it to Justice for Kids and add the words, “It Matters to That One”.

Protect one kid.

Save one kid.

Believe one kid.

Call the police if a kid discloses abuse of any kind. It is THEIR job to investigate, not yours.

It matters to that one!

p.s., it’s grand if you can save more than one!

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Today is Nelson Mandela International Day, his 95th birthday. To honor the 67 years of public service of this Nobel laureate we are invited to spend 67 minutes volunteering today.

I decided to make some Beads of Courage for my 67 minutes. Because I will miss my polymer clay guild’s workshop on Saturday, which will teach about spiral beads, I decided to make some spiral beads from a little pile of scrap clay that I had on hand.

Swirling the clay under a glass plate was very soothing. I am tickled at how the beads turned out.

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The Nelson Mandela Turquoise that I made recently, also from polymer clay, continues to get kind and generous comments. You can read some of them here:

http://www.jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com/beautiful-necklace-in-honor-of-nelson-mandela/2013/07/04/

So, if it feels right, get out there (or in there, like I did) and give back to the world today, 67 minutes.

Mandela’s contribution to our world was in the area of reconciliation. If you can’t give 67 minutes of time to your favorite charity, consider reconciling with someone today.

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