Michael Fairclough, Assistant Community Leader at Emmaus Salford, shares his thoughts
The world is always a very different place when you look at it through someone else’s eyes, and what an extraordinary opportunity Emmaus communities offer in this regard. While I’m not a complete novice when it comes to the plight of the homeless, it is clear that eyes (as they once were for others on the scriptural Emmaus road) can be opened when living and working with those who, for one reason or another, have found themselves without a home and/or on the streets at some stage in their lives.
Their stories can be remarkable and, ironically, sobering – reminding us that we are all just one step, one relationship breakdown, one lost job, one poor decision, one addiction away from finding ourselves in similar circumstances. And how would we – how would I – cope in such circumstances? The answer is: probably a lot better in a supportive environment like Emmaus than on our own.
And, as I’ve discovered many times on life’s journey, in situations where I thought I had much to give to a particular community I end up receiving in equal measure if not more; I expect this will continue to be the case at Emmaus Salford. I also hope that those who value wisdom and insight will take any opportunities that come along to look at the world through another’s eyes; it may just help us all live with less prejudice and with much more understanding.