Hubby and I had a date night Saturday evening that included about 35 others. We helped serve dinner to those in need at our town’s community center. Although I donate a home-cooked meal with some regularity, we’re not always able to help with its serving. But when we’re able, we find those we help feed give so much more to us…than we give to them.
All who volunteer agree that being able to share food with folks who are so grateful for whatever is placed before them, is humbling. They thank us, numerous times, for making the entrees, the side dishes, the salads and the desserts. Some lower their eyes as they mumble their thanks. Others greet us with large smiles, asking after our well-being. Can you imagine? Concern for us who live comfortably, compared with their meagre day-to-day subsistence.
Marilyn, the meal coordinator, is a true Christian. She fills a need in our community without passing judgment on those who partake. All are welcome; all are treated with respect. They line up, help themselves, find their own seats. Returning for more helpings is fine, as is taking food home for another meal. They are sensitive to leaving some for others; they never exhibit greed. Many even help with the cleanup.
Most are men, some with jobs. Women, retirees, teens and children comprise the remainder who dine with us. Many are repeats who are known by name. No tension exists, only calm and serenity. Barriers dissolve into thin air. Class, ethnicity, education, religion, politics, even cleanliness have no place as we mingle with one another.
We and they…have something in common.
It’s not easy to step outside one’s comfort zone, and cross over into the unknown. I’m sure it’s as difficult for those in need of our support, as it is for us who offer it. That we do… makes for a magical evening…