Monday, October 15, 2012
As we met on Friday night to set things up I couldn't help but think, "Is anyone going to come? Are these crafts the right crafts? Do we have enough soup and rolls?" Every conceivable worry under the sun was plaguing me. We set things up preliminarily and went home to get some sleep before meeting back at the church at 9:30 AM to put the final touches on.
Despite all our hard work I went home feeling wound-up and filled with dread.
Fortunately for me, my husband is a very patient man. In my moment of inconsolable fear he reminded me that this activity was meant to help the women of the church bond and come unto Christ. "Perhaps," he suggested, "you should talk to your Father about how you are feeling and see if he can help." What a man! I did just as he suggested and felt an overwhelming peace and comfort that everything would be fine.
In the morning, I packed up the food and supplies and headed for the church. I was the first to arrive and when I walked into the gym I found all our tables had been put away. All the food, supplies and decorations had been taken down and left in a pile on the stage. There was a janitor mopping the floor, which was soaking wet. For one moment I contemplated throwing my pot of soup on the floor and calling the Bishop to tell him the activity was cancelled. Then, that same feeling of peace and comfort filled my heart and instead I began again to arrange all that was in my power to arrange. Soon my committee members arrived and had the same greeting in our gym. Somehow we managed to forge ahead and put together the activity as the floors dried and the janitor pitched in.
Before we knew it, it was 10 AM. Ladies started to arrive. They made crafts. They talked. They laughed. They ate soup, rolls, vegetables with dip, brownies and lemon bars. The projects were fun and cute. The food was delicious. It had worked!
Around 2 o'clock I was standing in the kitchen dipping chocolate spoons with some of the ladies when I looked at the vats of soup on the stove and thought, "What are we going to do with all this left-over soup?" At that exact moment I heard a knock at the kitchen door. I answered it myself and found a dirty and disheveled man who looked to be about thirty and a little girl holding his hand, who was around five, the same age as my daughters.
He quickly explained that he needed help and wondered if there was a Bishop among us? He said, "Someone told me that if you go to the Mormon church they will help you." I told him there was no Bishop at the church. I asked him what he needed and he explained that he needed gas money to get his family of five to shelter. I remembered the soup. I asked him if they had had lunch? He replied that they hadn't really eaten in days. With the help of the other ladies we loaded him up with soup, rolls, vegetables with dip, brownies and lemon bars.
I don't carry much cash these days, but I found a $10 bill in my wallet and offered it to him. He thanked me and headed out the door.
After they left we just stood in the kitchen and cried together. I know there are hungry people in this world, but for me being approached by them is very rare.
God's hand was made manifest in that moment. God knows each of us, our needs, our circumstances. He knows. He calmed my heart in my hour of need and he sent this man and his family to my door in their hour of need. It was no coincidence that we were at that specific Mormon church building. Our leftovers were no coincidence. I was right were I was supposed to be.
Mother Teresa once said, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Our little activity for the women of the church was overflowing with love.
In the Bible, Jesus told Peter, "If ye love me, feed my sheep."
I thank God, my Heavenly Father for my life, my husband, my church, and opportunities to feed his sheep.