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"You are magnificent"

April 1, 2024

Last week we had our PACT (Probation/Parole and Community Team) meeting and I showed a short film called "Butterfly Circus". It is the story of a handicapped person who for the longest time believed that he was cursed by God, until he discovered that he too has gifts and abilities and can help others in his unique ways.

In the film are a couple of phrases, when Mr. Mendes looks at him and says, "you are magnificent" or "the greater the struggle, the greater the triumph", or "beauty can come from ashes".

It was interesting to see the responses of the men sitting there, folks who have committed crimes, folks who struggle to make a comeback, folks who have given up on themselves. And yet, in the moment, when I looked into their eyes and reminded them of the their dignity, there was a glimpse of hope, and maybe even a glimmer of tears in their eyes. When was the last time someone recognized their humanness?

After the film they got to hear from providers who want to help them move forward: Merced College, EDD, Worknet, Celebrate Recovery, GEO, AA, All Dad's matter.... and several others, each one providing one tool to help these men and women move forward. At the end I always ask them to share one resource they need, and it was good to be able to refer them to the different groups to help. One gentleman needed a bike for transportation to get back and forth from another town... and just a few days earlier, someone had donated a bike to us, so we were able to make that one thing he needed happen!

When was the last time someone looked into your eyes and recognized your beautify, and strength, and resilience, and giftedness? When was the last time you looked at another human being and acknowledged their divine purpose? When was the last time you really 'saw' the other person? Can you imagine what it could do for you or for them?

You, my friend, are magnificent!

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