When I told her I realized clearly a name for the feeling, I believe she knew, was surprised but she knew. I told her I’d been doing all I could with very little coming back in return.
I couldn’t name the feeling, fatigue like emotional drudgery.
But, on the way to work this morning, God named my feeling. Things happen a lot of times, you, alone in your car. Clarity comes.
I felt useless.
Now for no other reason than to chronicle the way it all was so momentary, I record it here.
We’re close to broke. I’ve been asking for money like the boy crying wolf.
All the helpers and helping places are asking now.
I understand the conclusion drawn that we don’t really need it, it’s just time to ask.
I had a letter to write, the year-end appeal. I was circling round our homeless shelter, looking for angles to capture in a photo.
Our need is great. Our hopes are high.
An image that would convey:
We need you now.
I stopped in to the shelter, barged in, worried again over budget. I realized my tone was less than helpful.
I thought I bet she wished I hadn’t stopped in.
Her demeanor was slightly solemn, her posture different in a tired sort of surrender.
I listened. She was worried about someone she loves. I had no words. I felt compelled to hold her.
I returned to my desk to see a message left for me.
The Foundation funding representative calling, asked that I return the call.
I dialed the number then regretted not pulling out the application, anticipating clarity needed, budgetary explanation.
Instead, we’re fully funded, are you available for a pre-press conference?
My legs felt it first, the emotion and a sizzle-like current ran up and back down and I felt my eyes water, I felt the fullness.
The fullness of feeling useless, doing all I could with a less than favorable, feeling ignored return.
I called her, shared that the reviewers of the grant found her to be “phenomenal”.
She paused. I listened, her joy.
“Oh, I’m so full.”
And I added, it is not me alone.
Remembering the way the reviewers of the grant on our site visit were entranced by her sharing and her speaking from her heart about our work, I told her, it’s you, it’s us together that has made this program so strong.
Then I added. Well, I thank God for making me able to write about our work and for making you able to talk so beautifully and passionately about it.
I’m lying down this evening feeling significantly surprised by my usefulness.
If you’d like to know about my work, visit Mental Health America Aiken County.
If you’re compelled to do so, please donate.
We really do need you now.