Monday, October 8, 2012

If We Are The Body

The downtown streets are quieter on holiday Mondays. Fewer people are rushed and most are already at home preparing turkey dinner.

But for some, the downtown streets are their home.

It's those we're seeking out on this Thanksgiving Monday, hoping to hand them a brown bag with a humble lunch inside. A sandwich, a juice box and some snacks... it's not a lot and it's just enough for today. It's literally daily bread.

We're behind one of the biggest malls in the city, my dad and I. There's a little church there, and a few people sit on the steps. 

We're not totally sure they're the ones we're looking for, but we offer each of them a bag.

I'm holding out a lunch to a lady with kind eyes and a soft grin. She takes it. "God Bless!" I say. But what if this humble lunch is her most blessed thing all day? The thought hurts me. Makes me want to come everyday to give her a sandwich, get her off the street. But I don't. I'm in school, forgetting about everything important... forgetting to live thanks.

I turn around to rejoin my dad. He's in a conversation with a man he's just given a lunch to. A jolly guy... the kind that reminds you of Santa; not the mall one, the real one. 

"You're right on time!" He quips, "That lady over there was jus' sayin' how hungry and starvin' to death she was!" He points to the lady with the kind eyes and soft grin that I'd handed a lunch to. I look back at her and see her take out the sandwich. She looks at me when she sees the note, a bright smile on her face. I smile back.

"So," the jolly guy continues his story, "I went an' bought some lunch," he gestures to another lady holding a small container, barely lunch. Barely a snack. "An' I came and shared it with these guys!" He grins, chuckles a little.

My dad and I smile, finish up the conversation and rejoin my mom and brother. 

The jolly guy's story is all I'm thinking about. He has nothing... yet he gives. He himself is hungry, yet he's feeding other hungry people. 

If this blog was about encouraging people to feed the hungry {which it is, in case you didn't catch that. ;)}, I think it's case in point right there.

Later, we walk by the same church on our way back to the car. There's even more homeless folks out there now, sitting on the park benches in the square. We're out of bags and of course this makes us feel terrible. I spot the jolly guy again, in the mini-crowd. The other woman, the smiling one, she's fallen asleep on the church steps.

They're all in jackets and it's not winter yet, but the 5 degree weather has my fingers and nose begging for some heat... then I remember that these folks are here for the rest of the day. Through the night, maybe. 

And you know what got me, at that exact moment? 

The church doors. The doors to heat, shelter and maybe a little hope? 

They were locked.

if we are the body, why aren't His arms reaching?


  1. Oh wow. So, so, so, so true. I just want to bottle your words and take them to every Church in America...and you know what 99% of them would say? "Well, if we let them in they might steal or vandalize!" Oh my, oh my. Wouldn't that be just terrible! And why would they steal? Because they have nothing. And why would they vandalize? Because they want what we have and if they can't have it (which they could, if we'd reach out and give) then they want to ruin it for the rest of us. So, if we are the body, we'd be letting them in and giving more than one meal - but teaching them how to live - to get jobs and a place to sleep. Then they wouldn't vandalize or steal. Would they?
    Love you Alyssa!


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