Monday, September 24, 2007

Serving the Mission Meal

T and I served at the local rescue mission last night.

This is normally not a momentous thing--it is what followers of Christ do, among other things. Our parish brings food, fixes a meal, then serves it every 4th Sunday evening.

What made it momentous was that T went. I did it while he was in Korea 3 years ago; I didn't serve while he was home before the Korea time as he was afraid of the people who were clients of the mission and expected one of them to cut my throat in the parking lot either as I got there or I left. I went one time despite his fears, and came home to find him totally destabilized with anxiety. So I didn't go back--while we were in the same house.

It was his idea to go yesterday. We arrived, we served, we left. And I think he was astounded by the experience. He kept saying things like, "They were so polite--not one was rude!" as if he expected that. I told him in my experience, that was the norm. Almost each person thanked us individually. T remembered his time in food service while at Georgetown, and noted this was easier. My thought was that the folks who use the rescue mission do not feel entitled, no matter what the prevailing wisdom says.

I think he may have realized that people who need a helping hand at times are people who are just like us. That is why it is so important to live in community, as neighbors. One never, ever knows.

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