From early in life, I have felt a call to serve. Among my first opportunities was in working with the homeless in Denver in the early 1980’s.
From early in life, I have felt a call to serve. Among my first opportunities was in working with the homeless in Denver in the early 1980’s. I have been inspired by men such as JA — a returned Vietnam vet and father who suffered mightily on the streets before turning his life around to lift up hundreds of others since.
Another opportunity came in knowing YA. One day in 1993, alongside the 300 other women in the center of a small southern Tajik village, she witnessed the massacre of her family and most local sons, husbands and fathers. These women later rose up to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and homes with their faith, their children, and a modest microfinance project.
Experiencing such courage has emboldened me to work for health and social justice. On any given day, I’ve noticed that the place or person to serve has always emerged right there in front of me. I have never needed to look far. I do my best to pay attention, be what I am, and bring loving kindness. Nothing seems to result in more lasting goodness than loving kindness. This begins with compassion for one’s self, radiating generosity of spirit to those around us.
Over the decades I’ve been blessed to work in partnership with hundreds of communities and organizations in the US and internationally to improve the health of people and places. From Tulsa to Tajikistan, I am moved by the genius and willingness to serve that is surfaced when authentic opportunity is provided for people to find their voice and make meaningful contribution.
We do not know what tomorrow will bring. We are given today. I try to listen well and notice what wants to happen. The One reveals all. The way forward through the deepest darkness is illuminated by grace.