June 18  Feeding Shelters

I’m feeling so awkward…a group of “Ferengi”, white foreigners, standing around at one of Hope Enterprise’s feeding shelters. Poverty stricken children line up for bread, a banana and warm milk and tea on this rainy Monday.

What am I supposed to do? 

Do I sit with them? The rain beats hard on the tin roof…How will we talk with the language barrier? Their faces are full of smiles and there’s jostling in the line with the bigger boys.

Are we supposed to wait here for someone to direct us?  I hate feeling so awkward and useless…
I glance up…and there in the window, serving up breakfast is my friend Jory!  Oh the joy of seeing that dear man’s face…he’s not standing around awkwardly but jumped right on in!  So I guess it’s okay…I dash over to find a doorway into the kitchen and next thing I know I’m helping to serve breakfast too…talking with a beautiful young woman from the high school…an amazing athlete I find out later.  Boundaries crossed….

Until lunchtime…when men and a few women who live on the street are served lunch…some are blind, led by children to get their food and sit to eat…many – most – have trouble walking…a few slide on the ground, dragging useless legs along… I find out many have suffered malnutrition when they were young and this is the result. I  wonder again, what the heck am I supposed to do here?  No one is in the kitchen helping to serve…there is the language barrier, and most are men, so there is a gender barrier...do I just go sit with them and let them know I care? No one else is….And then I see Sonja…she just graciously and naturally is picking up the empty dishes and bringing them to the window to be washed and reused to serve the next person. Giving a bit of rest and simply serving men and women made in the image of God….I can do that…

I think of you, Jesus, and how You so easily reached out to anyone and everyone. I think of Your words Hope has posted at the feeding shelters “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”

I pray You grow in me Your heart that sees people and not barriers, that sees how to help…thank You for showing me today, through Jory and Sonja.