Monday, January 8, 2018

And the award goes to...

I have such misgivings about awards.

As I viewed bits and pieces of the Golden Globe Awards last night, I was reminded of those days when I coveted an award so much. I was a young radio News Director, I had pride in my news operation, and I just wanted to be able boast about our “Award-Winning News Department.”

It took years for me to realize the reason we didn’t win high profile citations was because we didn’t have the time to try. We were too busy serving our community.

Actually, there were many small-market radio news departments back in those days that were doing a great job in their home town. They weren’t seeking, nor did they receive, recognition and awards. They were doing their very best to serve.

And isn’t that true in many situations?

We don’t often hear or read about awards for good cops, county snow plow operators, caring providers in nursing homes, minimum wage personnel in service businesses, mail carriers…people who make our lives more pleasant on a daily basis. The truth is, they don’t do it for awards. They care. They take pride in their efforts. They love to serve.

That’s pretty much the way I see our work in HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS. You’ll see and hear the names of some very well-known prison ministries and agencies throughout the year. I have no doubt that the accolades are well-deserved. HFP’s recognition level, on the other hand, is very low. What’s that name again?

In the long run, that feisty little small-town radio news director got up early every morning, covered school board meetings into the night, and crawled out of bed during the night when the local bar was burning down, not because of his excellent pay check. No, because of his strong belief in the public’s right to know, he was there for his listeners. He loved it, because it was the right thing to do.

By the same token, that little prisoner advocacy agency which quietly responds to 15 calls a day, 7 days a week, gets up early in the morning to speak at an inmate’s Public Hearing, and emails doctors and lawyers into the night for assistance to Michigan inmates, does so, not for the money. The HFP team loves what we do, loves those whom we serve, and attempts to walk in the footsteps of our leader Jesus. It’s the right thing to do.

My favorite preacher of all times, the late Al Hoksbergen, used to kid me about doing church work without pay. “You’ll get your reward in heaven.”

Teasing or not, I think that’s a pretty good payoff!

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant:" The top award!

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