Director’s Corner: Preparing for the Best
January 13, 2016
by Kevin Ludwig
Several times during the course of a week I will field telephone calls from individuals from our eight ministry tenants about facility issues they may be having in their area. While most of the calls are minor, occasionally there are some calls that are causes for concern.
A good example of this is if there is an individual in the building who is acting in such a manner that a guest might not feel totally safe in the facility. We never want that to occur, but now and then it does.
Recently, someone from one our ministry tenants called to alert me that there was someone in the lobby lying on the counter and being confrontational when he was asked not to sit on the counter.
Immediately, my thoughts prepared for the worst possible scenario. I imagined someone who might be intoxicated and not thinking clearly. If that truly was the case, I knew I needed to be very cautious and very patient.
As I walked down the stairs, I prayed that God would take control of the situation and guide me through it with words that would prevent a confrontation.
Instead of walking directly up to the man and telling him that he shouldn’t be sitting on the counter, I walked over to the mailboxes and checked to see if I had any mail. I greeted the gentleman with a “Good morning.” He returned the gesture and asked how I was doing.
“Good,” I answered.
“Well, I’m glad it’s good for someone,” he replied.
That was not what I was expecting him to say. With my mail in hand, I walked toward him, concerned as to why he would say something like that.
“What makes you say that,” I asked him as I noticed a duffle bag on the counter next to him and a rolling suitcase on the floor next to him.
He opened up to me, sharing that he lost his job 3 days earlier, he was staying in a shelter and he had to carry his bag and suitcase with him everywhere he went because the shelter didn’t have a place for him to store them.
My heart sank. I then realized that I wasn’t going to have a confrontation with him. Rather, I was going to have a conversation with him.
I told him how sorry I was to hear that he lost his job and I understood why he felt the way he felt. I asked if he had heard of Center of Hope and the services they offered. He said he was familiar with Center of Hope and that he was waiting for the ministry to open.
I looked at my phone to check the time. It was 10:55 a.m. I told him that Center of Hope would be opening in 5 minutes and that he was welcome to wait in the lobby until they opened. He thanked me for my time.
Before I left, I informed him that the counter wasn’t very sturdy and asked if he would mind not sitting on it because I didn’t want him to get injured. To my surprise, he apologized and quickly jumped off the counter.
As I walked away, I thanked him for not sitting on the counter and for coming into the Sioux Falls Ministry Center. I wished him well and assured him that the folks at Center of Hope would take good care of him.
I learned an important lesson that day. Instead of automatically preparing for the worst possible scenario, I need to have faith that God is in control of the situation and that I need to prepare for the best possible outcome.