Some, like Hall, have an uplifting spirit

Published 8:02 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

A friend of mine gifted me a book years ago entitled “Balcony People.”

It was written by Joyce Landorf and is a short book that focuses on the “lethal poison of rejection and the healing antidote of affirmation.”

She refers to those that lift us up as “balcony people” while calling those who want to tear us down, “evaluators.”

We have all experienced evaluators.

They are the people who are quick to pick out all of our faults and try to break our spirits.

Admittedly, there have been times that I have acted as an evaluator.

Hopefully not to the extent of some, but certainly there are days when I have been quick to jab out a criticism.

In Landorf’s book, she talks about how detrimental this can be to someone.

However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Landorf also talks about the power of affirming and being affirmed.

I know for me, when I receive a compliment or am lifted up by kind words, these actions can literally change the outlook of my day.

I was in the presence of a balcony person this week.

Earnie Hall is the program director at the River City Rescue Mission and every time I have an encounter with his gentle spirit, my day is better.

I was feeling a little sullen on Monday and I was in one of those moods that was not productive for me or quite frankly anyone else.

Fortunately, my assignment turned everything around.

I was to do a story on the new 24/7-prayer room that is going to be available at the rescue mission and to also report on the lunch meals offered to those in need.

During my interview, I also spoke with two volunteers, Marcus Jackson and Sean Condell, who help organize and prepare the lunch meals at the rescue mission.

Their commitment to the program is inspiring. Condell even showed me an herb garden she has planted behind the “chow hall” for the use of some of the recipes prepared and explained how in the near future, she is planning on planting vegetables, too.

Hall talked to me about the prayer space.

It is a goal, he said, to offer a place where folks who are in need of a space to pray can come.

He added he is seeking out volunteers, too, to help man the space in case someone might need spiritual support.

After getting the facts from Hall about the prayer room, I took advantage of my time with him just to chat.

We shared a few things that are going on in our lives and he with his soft-spoken voice quoted a few Bible verses referencing our discussion.

I left the River City Rescue Mission that day feeling uplifted.

Earnie Hall is a balcony person — loving and affirming.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at