One hundred and fifty people came to Richfield UMC today. Each left with two bags of food, a birthday bag, a children’s book, and please God, a sense that the community of Jesus followers do more than talk about justice and grace.
We have come to know each other through the years of fourth Saturday food ministry. We work side by side to unload the truck, sort food, bag potatoes and onions and today, briny hard-boiled eggs. We communicate with smiles and broken English and while we spend this time together there is so much we do not know about the lives lived outside the doors of the church.
People leave with bags of groceries. We feel good about that. But as important for the privileged that call our church home, we have a sense of who the often unseen neighbors are who are made in the image of our creator God.
One woman told me today of her dying husband, her incarcerated son, her battered body, and her sense of impending doom as the months tick by before she has to vacate her home. I watched English-speaking and Spanish-speaking youth work together to sort and distribute bags of goodies provided by the Richfield Rotary. They had a job to do and savored the work and the gift of partnership.
Following the food distribution I visited a member of the church who has been in the world of dementia for years. She had fallen and broken a hip, survived the surgery, and on the other side had begun to fail. When I entered her room her daughter was there and her eyes lit up and while her words indicated her presence in another realm, her eyes communicated joy and life and oh, to be witness to the love of a daughter and the spirit of a woman some ninety years old. I left blessed.
There are zillions of questions to answer, prayers to breathe, a sermon to write, chores to be done and wonder to be named.
This life called ministry is rich beyond the telling.