Jun 17, 2011

Feeding the poor locally

Last weekend we helped out at a local soup kitchen. This isn’t something we do often but I believe it is a work that everyone should experience at least once in their lives (although I bet if you do it once, you will be back again).

I don’t think the homeless situation in our town is near that of others, but it is amazing seeing the group that came this day.
Some were dressed decently, some were not.
Some were cheerful, some were not.
Some would talk to you, some seemed that they would rather not speak.

There were young and old alike. The amount of 20 to 30 year olds (in my estimation) was rather high as well as the 50-60 year olds.

The most heart wrenching was seeing a young boy, probably not older than 15 come through the line. I looked over at my 2 sons who were with me (8+13) and then back at the boy in line and couldn’t imagine them in his shoes. It’s one of those moments when you just want to take the child home with you and make a better life for him.
There was also an older lady there whom ate and then just laid her weary head on the table and fell asleep.
It had been unbearably hot earlier in the week and I am sure that had something to do with it.

The most interesting person that I talked to (more like listened to), was a gentleman, probably in his 50’s or 60’s, using a rolling walker and was pretty cheerful.
He had very eloquent speech and was knowledgeable of the city. He claimed that his father was mayor back in the 1940’s and that he himself had owned a business in town. I don’t know how much, if any of it was true, but just listening to him talk, one could tell that he has had some education.
He never got around to telling how he got to be homeless and I wasn’t brazen enough to ask although I am always wondering about those things.

As the work day ended, one of the regular workers there commented how well things went and how cheerful and upbeat the homeless were that day (evidently things are not always as easy going as they seemed to me to be).
He said that the work crew today was very joyful (and they were) in serving and doing God’s work and in just reaching out to those less fortunate. Not only serving food, but in listening to, talking to, and loving those whom came to eat. He said that the joy radiated from the workers was felt by the homeless and in turn helped them, if just for the moment, to feel the joy and love of Christ.

While I was reluctant to go at first due to the mountain of work I had to do at home, I was glad that I had the experience of God, of love….I think it was Mother Teresa that said “where there is love, there is God.