Sunday he threw his backpack up on the table and was frantically looking through it for something. Someone asked if he needed help. No…I just can’t find my cookie, he stated. Becoming more frustrated he abandoned his pack and started looking on the ground. “I only got one bite of it and set it down, now I can’t find it.” We didn’t have anymore or I would have offered him another. I was thinking if he finds it on the ground, I hope he doesn’t plan to eat it, with all the geese and ducks there, who knows what is on the ground. He returned to the table for his pack and continued to search for the cookie. I can’t remember what was said but he stopped and said “I wanted that cookie, it reminded me of someone.” “It tastes just like the one’s my father use to make.” Then the realization of what that cookie meant hit me. It had nothing to do with eating the thing, it was a connection to something that no longer was. I wondered, is his father still alive, if so was their relationship broken. I pictured a little boy standing in a chair in the kitchen with his father, together making cookies. A time together not just baking, but a father spending time with his son bonding and sharing the love he has for him. A moment in time that will never be again. It really had nothing to do with the cookie. It was just something that took his memories from the harshness of the streets to a place that brought him happiness and joy. I told him I would make more for next week…..I really do hope he comes down again. I think I will make a special bag of cookies just for him.
Each week in the park, we get to serve some of the most amazing people in our community. In doing so you get to serve long side some incredible people. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. Today I was blessed to have the Bishop Todd Hunter, Debbie Hunter and their daughter Carol, here from California. I have known them for many years now and love to see the love they have for people. I want to thank Ursula and her husband for coming down as well and lending a helping hand. Genevieve, many thanks to you and your friend for bring down the canned goods and bread, there was not much of anything left at the end of the day. To the wonderful people who show up week after week, giving of themselves each week……what can I say? YOU ROCK…..I love you and I thank you for the love you show our community.
There are a lot of hard working people out there…..and still they can’t afford a home of their own.
Was down at Interfaith Sanctuary Shelter today for a meeting. At the end of the meeting, they blessed us with a food donation for the park. During the course of our conversation, it was mentioned that different people provide something for their guest to eat during the week, but nothing was provided on the weekends. They don’t have the ability to cook at the shelter at the present time. So, that wonderful donation they provided for us is being cooked up right now and will provide a meal for their quests tomorrow, Saturday night. If anyone is interested in going down and helping serve it up….let me know.
Our friends on the streets don’t always have the nicest things said about them. I have heard people say don’t help them they will never do for themselves. Don’t help, because they will just bleed you dry. They only take and have no desire to do anything else. The list goes on and on. Every time I hear someone speak words like this I feel my blood pressure rise and like a mom bear, I want to tear into them. I bite my tongue and try to calmly educate these people on those who’s home is the streets. Are there some like this on the streets….yes, but they are few and for the majority they are kind, loving and giving people.
Today in the park was a example of just how loving and giving our friends are. We served up our meal, when one of the men came over and held out his hand. “I want you to have this” he said. I looked and rolled up was what I that was a few bucks. I told him that I could not take his money. He said he was grateful for what we do in the park and said he insisted I take it. I once again said that I could not take his money and that it was our pleasure to come down and share a meal with him and we wanted nothing from him. His eyes started to tear up and said “Please take it, I have no home to cook food in and I would like for you to take it and use it for the meals here in the park. I want to know that I did something to help others. So, please take it.” So I gave him a big hug and thanked him. I placed the rolled up money in my pocket and didn’t look at it until later.
I stopped at the store on the way home from the park and as I was walking in, I remembered the money in my pocket. I thought I had better take it out and put it in my purse before I forget it about it. I took it out and unrolled it. I was floored, I stood in the middle of the store with tears rolling down my face. Freddy, one of the cashiers (he ministers to those with addictions, will have to tell you about him another time) was just going on break. He came over and said “Hey sister what is wrong.” I held out my hand and explained what happened in the park. Freddy smiled real big “Sister you have been blessed today.”
Our friends have come up before, wanting to help and contribute. They will hand you a buck or two, sometimes some change. Always insisting that you take it and when they walk away, they hold their head a little higher. No matter how little they have to give. They give to help others in a world that looks down on them. They give because in their hearts they want to know they made a difference and they give because they have love for others.
Today blew my mind though. As I stood there in the store with my hand held out crying, telling Freddy about the park, in my hand I had unrolled not just a buck or two…..but one hundred dollars. I could not comprehend for a moment as to why this man would give us this. I thought I can’t take this and I need to get it back to him. Honestly I was freaking out, why would this man on the streets give me this kind of money. Freddy calmly leaned over and said “Like I said you have been blessed and don’t forget the Good Lord will bless him back.”
So I still sit here in awe and disbelief of the gift this man gave us. I pray that his gift will be a blessings to many and that he will be blessed many times over. Thank you my fiend. I don’t know where you will lay your head tonight, but I ask that Lord hold you tight and his Angels look over you. Love you friend.