At the local Community Center where I volunteer to serve hot meals, I watch and observe the people as they stroll in ready to chow down. You can’t always tell whose living on the streets, but sometimes you can. Our main concern is making sure these people get a full meal and may God bless each and every one.
A Heart for Missions
Normally when I think of Missions, my mind goes to those who travel to other countries and places to help the needy in life. I suppose Missions can be local. Maybe Outreach is more appropriate.
Ministering to the needs of others is the responsibility of each and every one of us. It’s true even if you disagree. I recalled the saying and song that I’m familiar with called, No man is an island. The song goes on to say no man stands alone, each man as my brother and each man as my friend.
There are always exceptions to the rule. Some people prefer to be along, but I can’t help but wonder if this reasoning of being alone is a mental disorder or some traumatic experience that happened in their life. Unfortunately these poor souls who prefer to be left alone, may grow up to harm others or simply die alone.
The act of human kindness and treating others with a show of worth is always in order. When the recipient of your kindness seem not to appreciate your attention, don’t take it personally because behind every face is a story.
My Paradigm Shift
Having experience, wisdom, and knowledge can be a powerful force. For me, life has taught me to act with intentional thought, instead of reacting in haste in certain situations. When we react out of emotions, it can cause misunderstandings and words that can never be retracted.
I want to pass on this story as much as my memory serves me. I’m sure you’ll get the meaning at the end.
Picture a highway that takes you up to a mountainous community. The road is nicely paved and marked. Some parts of the road is broad, while other parts narrow now so that there is only room enough for one car going in either direction. Next to the road is a steep drop.
A cyclist, we’ll call him Frank, standing on the side of the road starts to pelt rocks at passing cars. Cars kept going until the biker hits a convertible sports car and does a little damage. The motorist, I’ll refer to as Nick, was able to pull over to a widen dirt spot off the main road. He got out of his car to access the damage and was understandably angry.
“Why?” Nick asked. (This situation automatically makes one think this was a vandal out for kicks). Frank frantically apologized and explained that he was trying to get someone to stop by waving his arms at first, but couldn’t get anyone to stop. Then Frank went on the say, he decided to throw rocks which would most likely get someone to stop.
Nick, still angry, shouted about how throwing rocks didn’t make sense and the danger and damage it caused. Frank again apologized and said my friend and I were riding our bikes when his wheel slipped and he fell down the mountain, but a ledge was able to stop his fall.
Upon hearing Frank’s story, Nick completely changed his demeanor. This was no longer a vandal out to cause destruction, but a person who was trying to get help to save a life. This was a complete Paradigm Shift!
So much for how we judge others too quickly.
Little Becomes Much
Serving hot meals one night a week, may not seem very important or may not make a great impact when compared to the greater picture of charitable service, but the people who come appreciate and look forward to that night.
Granted, there are some who may complain about whatever, but those type of people usually have deeper issues.
Everyone is welcome without cost. Not everyone who comes to the center is homeless but some are. We try when there is food left over, to accommodate some by giving them a take home plates of food. They are thankful and so am I.
Stories From the People We Serve
There is a senior lady with the most beautiful head of long silver hair I’ve seen in a while. She lives a short bus ride from the center. I use to think she was homeless because she always had a carry cart full of stuff with her. As we chatted one evening, I found out she has an apartment where she pays extremely low rent for the area. She’d been in that place for about 15 years under a special renters program.
She went on to explain the reason she has the cart with her all the time is because the current owners of the apartment want to raise her rent to market rates, so since they cannot raise her rent under this program……they have been doing underhanded things to her to force her out, she alleged. Things like entering her place while she’s away and taking items from her apartment.
Therefore, she keeps her most valuable items with her. I didn’t mention all the other hell she was going through because it seems so bizarre. She seems to be a very intelligent lady with her thinking facilities in tack, so I suppose she was not just being paranoid.
A young man visits the center consistently for his hot meal, or at least I thought he was young. He turned out to be much older than he looked. He lives in a shelter and his mode of transportation is his bicycle.
His sad story was that someone stole his bike. He sorely needed his bike. He said his bike allowed him to travel to see his grand kids. While I was sad for him about his bike, I couldn’t help being surprised that he was old enough to have grand kids.
There is this one particular elderly lady who pushes her market type cart around town. Since my Pastor and I are up very early in the morning to pick up the market donations, we’ve seen her a few times on her way to the Center with her usual shopping cart overflowing with her personal stuff.
She loves to peek in the kitchen while we’re working to give us the latest news about what happened to this person or another. She even told us someone beat her up. If she would learn to keep her mouth and sassy opinions to herself, she’d be a lot better off.
The reason I even mentioned this lady is because she has family in the area. So I couldn’t help but wonder why she was living on the streets. She seems to have a quick temper that I’m so afraid is going to cause her to really get hurt. We haven’t seen her in weeks — just hope she’s OK.
Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
Always keep in mind the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do into you. Being a Classy Senior Sister is not just outward, but it’s in the inward part, of a kind and gentle spirit, with wisdom and knowledge.
Be Blessed Everyone and Be a Blessing
Patti B, the Good Stewart