By Kiley Jon Clark
Seriously, Tuesday is my favorite day of the week. As a Harbor Site, Connection Center @ FORM Communities has been asked to provide a support group in the morning and one in the afternoon at the Corazon Ministries Day Center. It is an Outreach Program of Travis Park Methodist Church to the ‘Unhoused Community”. And I love to walk into that loud, vibrant Day Center and see all the faces look up and say, “Oh, is it Tuesday already!?” We have become living clocks that mark the passing of time for our regular group members…the “one consistent thing”. Even after all these months, people seem surprised and excited to see us walk through the doors.
We “show-up” at Corazon surprised and excited as well. The group there is like no other. It’s like a piece of art that is painted right in front of you. All we do is move one table and leave a circle of chairs. But in that circle, each week, there is no telling what might emerge from all that group energy. We have had folks cry or laugh for the first time in months, tell us things they have never told anyone, inspire each other with their kind words, play music on a ukulele and sing, celebrate many small victories in our sobriety, share little know resources, tell us about cherished childhood memories, and we have also seen security take members out of our group in handcuffs, screaming.
My favorite thing is when a young Peer Specialist Intern is “shadowing” me for the day. I tell’em, “Okay, first you watch me lead the group, then we lead it together, and then you lead it on your own, okay?”. This is how I learned and how I have been mentored, so I try to pass whatever knowledge I was given or learned from others to the next generation of Peers. So, yeah, Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week. You just never know what “artwork” will arise out of that circle. Each person’s “share” adds color and shape to the invisible canvass of our souls. And it’s not until the very end that we get to see what we created together, but it is always special and unique.
Speaking of art. I’m enclosing two pics that I took at the request of the artists at Corazon. One man is currently unhoused and makes art on ‘found pieces of wood’. The other is a man that overcame alcohol and homelessness many years ago to become a well-known Artist in San Antonio. He volunteers all over the city and does whatever he can to “raise awareness about the plight of the homeless community”. Coincidentally, he knows Minot Pratt and Mark Stoeltje very well and remembers the early days of San Antonio Clubhouse! He walked up and randomly joined our support group today! The group quickly became an “Art Appreciation Class”…once again…the unexpected and unplanned happened.
Before I left, he invited me behind the curtain to see what he’s currently working on. It is a 7’x10′ art piece he is going to hang in the Day Center. It’s a huge picture of Jesus washing his Disciples feet. Now that’s a perfect metaphor for what I see happening everyday down at Corazon Ministries. And strangely, it was the first I fully realized what Jesus was doing. Jesus was showing us that “Service to others is Service to self” and that “we can only truly receive by giving”.
True wisdom comes from the most unexpected places…from the most unassuming people. Maybe this is what life is? Maybe when we are kind to each other, curious, and help one another….we become God’s Masterpiece. I’m not sure, but that’s the feeling I sometimes have when leaving Corazon after a really good group. It’s a feeling, I don’t know, like I can handle anything that life throws at me today…a bit more artistically.