Yes, I spelled that right. Yes, it’s a play on words about raising awareness. Breathe easier, grammar police. 😄
About 2 years ago, it was time for me to go back into the workforce. I needed health insurance coverage for our family. I prayed for the Lord to fulfill my requirements in wherever he placed me. I wanted an accounting job(the only thing I’m qualified for!) in a Christian environment, surrounded by Christian people that would allow me to be flexible with time off to make sure Preston’s medical needs were met. The Lord put me in one. I made some of the best friends that I stil hang out with to this day and love dearly.
But I was absolutely miserable. I left out serving Him in my “requirements”.
I found myself behind a wall, serving man. I had limited contact with clients. In hindsight, I can see that the Lord gave me exactly what I asked for.
I went to my employer and told him that I felt it was time for us to “divorce”. I needed to serve God. My soul craved it. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to pay our insurance.
I went back to the drawing board, got on my knees and prayed again. “Okay, Lord. I obviously don’t know what I want. Open the door where you want me to serve.”
And did He! I get to serve Him every day.
I ended up back at the accounting firm that I worked at while I was in college. It’s a beautiful building on our beautiful Main St. I can’t write all the ways that the Lord has used and blessed me. It’s absolutely amazing.
Downtown Lancaster sure has changed in my years away. We are in the midst of an epidemic opiod crisis It’s now common to see people dumpster diving for leftovers from the restaurant next door. I was talking with a friend a few nights ago and she said she would like for someone to take us and show us where the homeless are. I told her all she had to do was come downtown.
My boss’s wife, Susan, owns the iconic flower shop next door, Ray’s Flowers. Ray’s has been around for as long as I can remember. When she purchased it, she kept the name and has allowed it to remain a landmark for downtown.
Every year in the month of October, the light posts all down Main St. are turned into staging areas for an event called “Scarecrows on Main”. It’s a fun time for businesses to enter into a competition in hopes they win the best of the best. Susan and her crew join in the festivities. Last year, Ray became Raynita and was quite an attraction. I was looking forward to seeing what this year would be.
Susan and her employees have decided to take a stand and “Ray’s Awareness” to what’s happening in our town. For Ray’s Flowers, it’s not about winning a competition this year. It’s about giving back to our community and investing in it. We can no longer turn our heads in ignorance or shame.
The scarecrow is up. And at Mr. Ray’s Awareness’s feet, there is a metal bucket. That bucket contains non-perishable snacks, water, and knapsacks that have a complete meal in them. They are there for those that need. Susan also upped the ante and has challenged anyone to please stop by the bucket and place non perishable food IN it. It’s a beautiful, simple concept of some giving and others receiving.
It is truly a blessing for me to be able to even blog about this. This is why I love my job so much. I get to be a tiny part of seeing the good in our community and by a little ol’ flower shop, planting a seed(no pun intended).
I personally challenge all my clients, friends, and neighbors in the business district to come and drop a snack off. Or if you see a homeless person, send down to Ray’s. Susan and her crew will hook them right up!
Lastly, I ask you to help Ray’s Awareness by sharing this blog to raise awareness!
God is good. All the time.