Working with Artisans has been equally transformative as gratifying. For the next year, the non-profit organization has granted me the opportunity to mentor Mr. Ricky Lockridge. Now meeting Ricky was not what I had expected. Upon arriving to the Artisan Ark, I anticipated a young, enthusiastic mentee with a lively weekly schedule. However, walking through the empty, mundane facility, I saw a middle-aged man sitting alone with a look of overall unhappiness. Immediately, Ricky came off very guarded, defensive, and discontent. He was reluctant to fill out his goals worksheet and had the only desire to draw in his 3 by 4 inch notepad. Interacting with Ricky was difficult and became somewhat frustrating. Nevertheless, it wasn't until I reflected upon my intentionality that changed my weekly service experience.
Intentionality is a selfless act that calls us to meet the individual where they are, not wanting to be caught up by a busy, meaningless schedule. Service has taught me that much of my intentionality requires me to simply be present and serve from my heart. Seeing Ricky's mental disability was ultimately heart breaking, yet filled my heart with compassion. I quickly realized that everyone needs love and desires to be loved. And showing Ricky love calls for me to meet him where he is at, even if that looks like sitting in a dull room solving puzzles or sketching flames on a notepad.
- Knight of Gonzaga