Within the Fight 2 Fight organization, we use ice cream sandwiches as our "safe word." What we mean by that is when we are in overly emotional and moving situations, we say ice cream sandwiches to let each other know that the tears are about to fall. Even though it's silly to say ice cream sandwiches, we never take those experiences for granted and we are so very thankful that this movement has the power to change people's lives.
Monday night was definitely one of those nights. Fight 2 Fight impacted the homeless population of downtown Nashville with Shower Up. As I was walking to the War Memorial Plaza, I was already overwhelmed with emotions as I tried to put myself in the shoes of the people we were impacting. What is it like to be homeless? How does it feel to not have a safe, cool cozy place to go home to? What does it feel like to not be able to take a shower after sweating all day? And a million other thoughts. These thoughts made me super thankful but at the same time I felt undeserving. Undeserving of my blessings, my situation and my life but then I became even more thankful having the ability to use my life to be a small dot-connector in God's amazingly beautiful plan.
The beauty of Fight 2 Fight and Brynn and Josh's ability to connect with people through their own personal passions and talents was so evident last night. Sometimes we just need a little feel good music for a few minutes to remind us that we're human and we don't have to always be bogged down by our circumstances. One of the sweet ladies, a mom to three young kids, we impacted there definitely needed it. It's tough to be a mom to three young kids when everything is going great but I imagine how she feels and the daily pressures she has raising them while homeless. It was so moving and an "ice cream sandwich" moment when she was joined in with Brynn to sing Alicia Key's "No One." I was convinced at that moment, through the emotions in her singing, she is a fighter and with a little support from others she'll fight to make everything alright.
In addition to the music, a few of our new friends put on the boxing gloves and threw some punches with Josh. There's just something about putting on boxing gloves that makes you feel like you are strong and can take on the world!
At the end of the day, I realized that all people are the same! Deep deep down we're all the same! We want love, we want purpose and we want community. And even the smallest things can change our outlook and confidence level. It doesn't matter if we have a high rise in Miami or we're homeless in Nashville, we are God's creation and we are here for a reason. Let's embrace our differences, celebrate when we're on the mountaintops and encourage when we're in the valley!