Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Feeding the Homeless

One rewarding hour and a day a week. Why not?

I looked around tonight at the faces of people so delighted to be catered to and couldn't help but smile. Government help comes in on the first, and though the crowd was lighter than the norm, many still pressed in for a meal...painfully aware that the funds they received one day earlier will only go so far. It's been a hard day, for some, it's been a hard life. The doors opened at 5:15 and the people waiting outside came in and sat to listen to the 20 minute sermon and pray before supper...even applauding when the sermon was done (though I am unsure if they were applauding the completion of the sermon in anticipation of the food, or if they really enjoyed the sermon...I'd like to think there's a little of both).

I was warned of one lady who comes in who "must have a twin sister because she is mean one week and nice the next," so I decided to watch her tonight...she didn't fail my expectations...right in the middle of the sermon, she smacked the man in front of her on the back of the head and pretended she was innocent and taking notes. I quickly turned to look at another volunteer and said "did you see that?" She was already watching my reaction and laughing assuring me that she had seen it. Really, I had to giggle because, well, deep down...I wish I could do that sometimes...uh, in fact, just this week at work. ;) I looked around again and my heart just melted when I realized this night is a very important night for them. Many dressed up in their best attire, or at least did their best to make sure their only outfit was presentable. All were grateful.

Looking back at tonight I can't help but think of Isaiah 58:6-7 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"

I wondered about the economy and the impact it would have on these types of food kitchens.

I wondered at how distant being in that situation seems and yet had a sudden realization of how close it really is.

I wondered why there were just a few of us willing to serve in this capacity.

I wonder still.