Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Special New Year's Gift

I've never written about my godson, Ke'won. Ke'won is not my godson in the traditional sense. One day about nine years ago, when we had just moved into our house in VA, we met Ke'won and his two brothers as we walked our three dogs. We got to talking and I had the impression that they didn't have adults talk to them very often. They lived on a very troubled street at the very edge of my gentrifying neighborhood.

A few days later, all three boys came by to ask if I could "come out and play" and a relationhip was born. Julius, Ke'won and Little Ronnie were 11, 9 and 5 at that time. The more accurate description of our relationhip would be "mentors." But godparents works better for him and get him fewer odd looks than when he used to say we were his aunt and uncle.

Ke'won has experienced every type of difficulty growing up that one could expect. He is poor. He is black. His mother has MS. HIs father has been in jail. Up until about two years ago, his father was addicted to crack and alcohol. He has a learning disability. It is difficult for him to read at his age level. He has been homeless.

However, by the grace of God and through his own sweet inner spirit, he has never gotten involved with drugs and has never gotten into trouble with the police. Last year, through the irresponsible behavior of his mother, he became homeless when his mother was evicted. He was too ashamed to tell school administration or me about his situation.

His only lifeline to his family and me was his cell phone, Ke'won, who had never been in any trouble, got kicked out of school for text messaging during class. The letters notifying of a hearing before the school board were returned to sender because his family has been evicted. By the time he figured out who to talk to, he had been permanently expelled because no one had appeared to explain his situation to the school board.

I think that this kind of thing happens to teenagers more often than we think. I also think that Ke'won's situation would have been far different if he atteded a suburban school, had parents who had a clue, and if he was white.

Ke'won deperately needs a job while he studies for his GED on line. Recently, I've been writing my prayers and one prayer I wrote was to ask God if He would allow me the privilege of helping someone that day After my quiet time, I went to shop at Food Lion. The service at our local Food Lion is always bad, so it is odd that I went there.

The service was bad once again and this time I felt led to talk to a manager. I argued with myself that perhaps I shouldn't be murmuring and complaining, but I still felt a push to talk to a manager.

After hearing that they were having a terrible time finding employees with good customer service skills, I suggested Ke'won. I find it hard to believe that they can't find good people, since we have so many Americans out of work, but it is true.

Ke'won and I created a resume for him, filled out an on-line application and prayed. He went in, just to introduce himself to the manager, today and when he left, he had a job!

God is good, all the time. Pray for Ke'won, that he will be able to overcome the difficulties he has been through and that God will allow him to find favor with everyone at Food Lion.