Knoxville is so incredible. It is. To quote the show, "Knoxville, Tennessee is the postcard perfect town..." But how we've neglected the parts we want to forget. Dani Johnson (THE secret millionaire) lived on "that side of town." The bad side. But I know this side now. It's where my mom's kids are. She lived in the worst of the worst for a week. Western Heights. One of my mom's kids used to spend every weekend at our house last year. That's where he lives now. And they believe they are so lucky, blessed, because they are out of the hotel room they were living in and into the projects. They are grateful for it. But it's b.a.d. And that's where Dani stayed.
Helen and Ellen and the Love Kitchen. Wow. I know so many people who have helped out down there. But I never have. And then the other two places too. The Joy of Music School and Special Spaces. And there are so many more great ways already to set up to help here. Yet I have so rarely helped at all.
Why? I don't know.
But the wonderful thing is, where I have majorly slacked acting out the love I have for "the least of these" here in Knoxville, others haven't.And Dani, she's from Texas for cryin' out loud. She has zero ties to this city. BUT she is a Christian. That was made clear through her commitment to spending time in the Word, especially when making her decision of who to give to, asking specifically for wisdom. She is a millionaire, but she does not idolize her money. She is about helping others. Loving others. Even people she does not know.at.all. And she gave thousands of dollars to us here in Knoxville. I love how all of the people who started and volunteer in these organizations are so grateful just for her help, but I also adore their faces when they find out she's also going to give to them financially. What an unsuspected blessing. A gift of love.
I want to be about love.
I can't give tens of thousands of dollars to these people. But I can give other things. Dani says, "give a smile, give a hug, give whatchya got." I've got plenty to give.
I adore this place, although so commonly I feel called elsewhere. But I'm not somewhere else, I am here.
So while I'm here, I need to make a difference.