Food. Have you ever been hungry? Not a noon-time starving sort of thing, but really hungry? Not knowing where or when you might get your next meal? I thought at times I've had it tough, but I never had to go without life's basic necessities.
One of the activities I've become involved with in the last year is working with a ministry in Detroit which serves the homeless a meal. One Saturday each month our church takes a turn to put out a little meal for whomever lives under the viaducts, in the abandoned houses or curled up in a park nearby. I must confess that today I was considering finagling my way out of it. I was thinking of a million excuses simply because it is so hot out, I just didn't want to leave my comfortable house and face the heat. Thankfully after a hustle-bustle kind of morning and hearing from others who were traveling with me, I began to get a bit motivated for the afternoon and today 7 of us went to show some love.
I was surprised when we approached the park. Many men were already lined up to go through the clothing line and ultimately come through the chow line. Being that this is a ministry that is done right on the sidewalks we mostly see men as the women and children may find shelter elsewhere. In this heat, 98 degrees in the shade, I was surprised to see anyone outside, but then again, where would they go? There are some cooling shelters here and there, but most aren't wanting to leave their community or their living locations. They're concerned that someone else may claim their piece of land.
The time goes quickly and we are busy every minute. Young to old today went with me to serve, from 20 years old to seniors in their seventies. Nice! All the while I kept thinking about what I could be grateful for on a day like this. Well, for one thing, there was a little cool breeze under the trees where we set up. We also had some super nice people coming through the line and it isn't always that way. I was also grateful that I knew in my heart this discomfort was momentary. In a few hours we would be driving 30 miles back in air-conditioned cars, going to air-conditioned homes and having a place where a nice shower could be had. I used to take on every one's struggles and wonder and worry about them all the time. But God said that isn't my job. The 12 steps has helped me learn a very tough thing ~ not to feel sorry for those we help. No one needs my sympathies, they just need my helping hand. Great peace comes by doing what I can, when I can and where I can. The rest takes care of itself.
Ninety minutes later it was time to close up. The food was consumed, the watermelon was gone and soon the beverage bucket held nothing but ice cubes which we offered out as well. Not a drop of water could be found, but a good time was had by all.
11th Step: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
11th Promise: We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
Life is good.