So, The Torch was on the news. You can see the story at: http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/8097284-story
I will admit, watching that coverage on TV felt quite surreal. It was also very humbling. Only time will tell if it really mattered.
Every time we share our stories, Sarah and I both remember exactly who we are and where we have been, and we acknowledge that we are nothing special and The Torch is never to be about us. It truly is not. I know we drive (unintended pun) what happens at The Torch. We have been blessed with a variety of gifts that enable us to do the things we do. I pray all the time that we never take those gifts for granted.
But, The Torch is not about us. It is about hope and that's what makes what we are doing so important and what compels us to push for more. The Torch HAD to happen. It was time for somebody to say, "Hey! Things need to be different!" It was time to remind people that EVERYONE matters and that people who need help should be treated like the valuable human beings they are. They shouldn't merely become a number, or part of a list of clients that keeps the money rolling in for an agency. Their humanity and being makes them worthy of respect and love. They deserve to know they can have hope, and that their lives are valuable.
Then, there is Torch 180. a food-service facility in which we will train and employ individuals with disabilities to work in the food service industry.
Torch 180 is not just a good idea, or merely another dream. It's not intended to be a feather in our caps. Torch 180 is a NECESSITY. It HAS to happen, because the food service industry is a great big industry with many employment opportunities, and people with disabilities can be trained to fill those positions. It HAS to happen because we see large numbers of people who have disabilities who are unemployed - and we have had many contact us to ask for help with training. It HAS to happen and therefore it WILL happen.
We believe 180s happen in life all the time - and they don't always have to be bad! Employment can make so much difference for people's lives - enhancing self-esteem, as well as helping to provide for basic needs. We all know that. Torch 180 has to happen, because will enable us to help so many more people in such a practical way.
Which is why only time will tell if our television debut (snicker, snicker) on Fox 2 news really matters. It really matters if, after seeing the story, people rally around The Torch and Torch 180, and the funding comes in, a facility is located, and we are able to bring hope to people in yet another way.
It is not about us. Not even a little. It's about hope and helping and making the world different for others. So, we will see if it really matters.
Do you see that picture? THAT is a picture of what love looks like. "Of course," you say, "Everybody loves Sarah! The Torch wouldn't be The Torch without her!" Which, naturally, is true, however - that is NOT why that is a picture of what love looks like.
The snake makes it a picture of love. Being the fitness gurus we are, Sarah and I went for a walk one evening. I was the first one to spot the snake. I grabbed Sarah's arm, and said, "LOOK!" And waited in anticipation for her to scream and freak out a bit. Sarah HATES snakes. They don't really trouble me much. I think it's kindof funny when we encounter one and she tries to escape.
But, Sarah surprised me! She said, "Wait! I have to catch it!" Hmmm, I thought, She must be trying Exposure Therapy to rid herself of her fear of snakes - being the psychological thinker that I am. I was wrong. She handed me her phone, held up the snake, and asked me to take a picture. Her nephew, Benjamin, LOVES all kinds of creatures, and Sarah LOVES Benjamin, so she knew he would be very happy to see a picture of his aunt holding a snake. She did get a little creeped out after she put the snake down and it slithered away.
So that is a picture of love. When we love, we do things that sometimes go against our nature - which is not always easy. In fact, often it can be very hard. Our society makes it difficult to talk about love, too - particularly if it is love among humanity and apart from family and friends. People think it is impossible to love others unless you are deeply and intimately involved in their lives - and who has time to get deeply and intimately involved in the lives of all of humanity, besides God?
But, I think it is possible to love people just because they are people and are worthy of my caring. We recently got an email in which we were told we are the most beloved ladies in that community. I admit, I cried when I read that. The email was sent to inform of us of an opportunity they had found to give back to the Torch - but for me, that was secondary. We are beloved because that is a community where we love on people. We draw strength for that from God.