Who Is Sitting On Your Couch?

New homeowner Geraldine Smith wipes tears from her eyes and clutches a Bible signed by every volunteer who worked to build her home during the Fuller Center for Housing blitz build in Shreveport's Allendale neighborhood. (Shane Bevel/The Times)

OK, so I've been a little busy the past few weeks and I haven't had time to write much. But I wanted to tell you a little but about one of the things I have been doing.

The Fuller Center for Housing started less than a year ago building low cost housing in Allendale (the most impoverished neighborhood in Shreveport). Less than a year from the beginning of the project the group will have built 20 brand new homes that are replacing uninhabitable shotgun houses from the 1920s and 1930s.

The center uses the same format as Habitat for Humanity (in fact, Millard Fuller founded Habitat) to build low cost housing and guarantee a zero interest loan for the homeowner, who has to also work 400 hours on their own home.

I won't take up enough space and time to tell you about all the cool experiences I had this week and last. All the great people I met both covering and volunteering for the blitz build were great and the homeowners were even better. Overall, the volunteers built TEN houses in 4.5 days!!

But I will tell you about Friday night when I got to listen to Millard speak to a crowd of volunteers from all over the country who had come to build houses here in Shreveport. I watched as a joint choir of a predominantly black and predominantly white church sang together on the same stage. I listened as homeowners and volunteers told stories about working side by side. But the one thing that impacted me the most was what Millard himself said:

So many people pray to God. They say "Lord! What has happened to these poor people; surely there is something to be done? Help them Lord." Then they get up off their knees and they go and sit on the couch and watch TV. When they ask where God is.... what he is doing… why he hasn't helped the people, I respond… God is right next to you… sitting on the couch… watching TV.

So, as I sit here dirty from a day of work at the site… I ask you… who is sitting on your couch? Is there something to be done? Is there something you can do to make the world around you a little better for yourself and others?

Probably so.

Take the initiative. Get your God off your couch and into your community. Shine him up and show him off a little bit through your actions. I promise its gonna make your day better. Not to mention what it will do for someone else's.

If you or someone you know have any interest in working on the housing...please let me know. There is a ton of work left to be done. Anyone can help.


I like timeless things.

Objects, people, ideas, concepts, philosophy, motorcycles, cars... and love.

The list goes on, but you get the point. Timeless is a requirement for me. I am not into the newest fad. I am not into the trendy thing. I am not into reality TV and the awful music on the radio. Its all tolerable at best. But true beauty lies in the classics. The things that will always be with us. Its true... I have and occasionally still do listen to my fair share of pop music, or watch a movie purely for dumb entertainment. But for the most part give me the Delta blues singers and a copy of a Faulkner book and I couldn't be happier.

So give me some khaki shorts and a white t-shirt and let me be....