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The Real Miracle In the Ted Williams Story
By now, everyone who watches TV or reads the news knows about the Ted Williams story. He was a homeless man with a sign and a great voice, who was discovered on an interstate by a videographer. Within days he was given a home, a new career as an announcer and guest appearances on the major talk show circuits culminating with a heartwarming reunion with his 90 year old mom.
This whole story seems like "The Miracle" but in actuality, the miracle happened when the videographer, Dorel Chenoweth, stopped and took the first action.
Because he decided to engage, at that moment, a series of events occurred that one could never imagine. Do you think this was just a coincidence?
Where so many of us feel like homelessness is a faceless Issue, a nuisance, a shame, a problem of which our government needs to take care because we pay tax dollars, do you think it was just by chance that Dorel Chenoweth's stopped to capture the most amazing face you can put on homelessness?
Or perhaps this event is a call for all of us to take an action to end homelessness and be involved with the weakest of our society.
I have done a number of stories on folks like Ted who have experienced homelessness. One of them will be airing in my show starting this Sunday around the country with rock star Jon Bon Jovi and Sister Mary Scullion who teamed up to build homes for low income families.
Sister Mary Scullion, one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people, founded "Project Home," which provides housing, jobs, education, healthcare and love for formerly homeless people for 25 years with enormous success. She says,"None of Us Are Home Unless All of Us Are Home."
Many others have paraphrased this message like Mahatma Ghandi, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
I think a lot of good people who care just don't know what to do when they see a homeless person. I think we are taught to stay away or be afraid.
I was walking with my friend along a street with pedestrian traffic and we saw a homeless man begging as we were walking along. He was clearly high in some way.
Because of my experience with homeless people through Sister Mary, I felt very comfortable approaching him and speaking with him. I talked to him about Project Home and wrote their number on his hat. My friend was mortified and said, "how do you know he didn't have a knife?!" Well, I didn't but I felt we were in a safe enough area and I know now that these people are me, just in a dark place.
Who will help them back into the light? Every element of life has an element of risk and we are here to take some. The feeling of helping someone, far outweighs the risk!
Homeless people are all filled with love and hope that someone will help get them on their feet. Some have mental illness or drug addiction but they deserve our love and attention as well. They are us, just in a challenging place at this point in their lives.
They are standing on the street for us to see them for a reason. Can you imagine how good Dorel Chenoweth, the videographer, feels? We can all feel this way. There are so many more Ted's out there that we will pass…or maybe now we will take some action.
Maybe this time we could offer them a phone number to a place like Project Home, or support an organization like this by volunteering, delivering food or even offering financial support. The Miracle of Ted Williams will be our society being the the great one it should be.
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