Today at the food-bank five out of the seven clients that we served were homeless.
This isn’t the voluntary hippie-on-the-road homeless or the Great-Depression-riding-the-rails-looking-for-a-job homeless. These folks have no other options—whatever the reason that brought them to this point in their lives.
With literally nothing but the clothes on their backs and maybe a backpack or small bag of “supplies,” they come in seeking one of the basic necessities of life—food.
One woman had just gotten out of the hospital and all she asked for was some juice and “cleansing food.” Another requested “just some fruit.” Two were “camping” and one was a diabetic requiring protein. We usually give them a one-day supply because they have no way to store or cook it, and since they are “walkers” carrying large amounts of anything is an additional hardship.
These kinds of orders are the most challenging to fill yet the most rewarding!
Challenging because of the many unknowns—can opener, means of cooking, utensils, water supply? You know—all those things that many of us take for granted—just walk into your kitchen, open all the cabinets and drawers and look at all the appliances, dishes, utensils, pots/pans and modern conveniences . . . then imagine not having any of it—much less the home itself.
Rewarding because they are generally the most truly grateful people I have ever met—not only grateful, but kind, humble, compassionate and grit-filled. They serve to remind me repeatedly of one truth none of us can avoid—we came into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing.
Can there be no greater purpose in life, then, to love and serve one another?
Could this be what Jesus meant when he said,
“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
A new Facebook friend shared on her timeline “We are all just walking each other home,” a truth that seems to be arising out of and through the meeting up of teachings like Buddhism and Christianity.
How deeply profound . . . walking each other home . . . and while we’re at it “maybe we can hold each other’s hand.” S.C.