What an amazing day! Recording artist Sharif Iman arrived at Area Command with acoustic guitar in tow ready to not only sing a few self penned tunes but more importantly reflect on where’s he’s been and encourage those in attendance of the possibilities in their life.
We had a small crowd, yet the energy in the room was alive and as Sharif put it ‘comfortable” he could tell folks were relaxed and were able to be themselves. Sharif shared on being homeless, eating out of dumpsters wondering what his next day would bring, but he soon found folks who believed in him and it’s those individuals that he refers to as “family.” He encouraged the youth in attendance to “never let go of their dream and to never let anyone steal it from them.”
I watched the faces as he spoke and they were incredibly attentive; focused, taking in each word as an inspirational vitamin. Sharif shared on how “He believes in them” and as he stares out into the crowd, all he sees are “kings and queens.” That put a smile on the kid’s faces and they quickly looked down at their feet or off to the side trying to savor this observation made by a perfect stranger.
After it was over, all of the kids rushed up to Sharif and gave him hugs while some began to strum on his guitar. One of the mother’s advised they they shouldn’t touch, but Sharif smiled and encouraged the kids to strike each chord and allow the various sounds to resonate and possibly ignite creativity within each one of them.
One of the kid’s, Darius started chatting a bit with Sharif and it came out that he played soccer. Sharif and Darius immediately began talking the lingo. how Sharif was a Striker, positions they played, etc. Sharif asked his name and told him he would spread the word amongst some coaches, help him get back into soccer. Sharif then asked him if he had cleats. Darius looked to the ground; kind of shuffled his feet, he then looked up and said “nah”. Sharif quickly told him, “don’t worry ’bout that, we’ll get you hooked up.” Darius quickly beamed.
It was a wonderful experience and although the setting was intimate with just a handful of folks, to me they were all handpicked by God to attend and hear what had to be said. It was a beautiful moment of being real and being relational. We’re definitely looking forward to future endeavors with Sharif and thank him again for the time he took to come down and spend some time with us!