Saturday, November 28, 2009
What Did We Serve?
On Thanksgiving day we served the homeless of Daytona Beach, Florida Thanksgiving dinner. We served turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie and more. We served about 80 people. Along with the food, what else did we serve on Thanksgiving day?
Safety: We served 2 hours of safety. Homeless men and women live in constant fear of having their property stolen, being hit over the head or other physical and verbal abuse. It was great to see our homeless guests sitting down and relaxing. You could see in their eyes that they felt safe.
Listening: We served the gift of listening. The homeless want us to look into their eyes and actually listen to what they have to say. I was so impressed with how many of our volunteers actually sat down, listened and entered the real world of our homeless guests.
They weren't called Bums: We served respect. On the streets they are called "bums" or "losers". When our dinner guests arrived we asked what their name was so we could say, "Bill, what would you like to drink?" or "Diane, would you like more gravy?" The homeless have names just like you and me.
Love: We served love. There isn't a lot of love in the lives of the homeless. After the day was over I smelled like cigarettes, alcohol, body order and urine. Why? I hugged them. Have you ever hugged someone and they didn't want you to stop or they didn't want you to let go? That happened many times as I hugged the homeless on Thanksgiving day. I saw volunteers putting hands on their shoulders and shaking their hands. We wanted our guests to feel welcomed and loved.
The Gospel: We tried to serve the Gospel. The homeless HEAR the Gospel day after day just to get a free sandwich. I pray that our homeless guests SAW the Gospel while we were serving food, safety, respect and love. Isn't that the kind of Gospel we all need to SEE on Thanksgiving day and everyday?
Thanks to all of the volunteers and donations from First United Methodist Church, Tomoka Christian Church, Covenant United Methodist Church and my friends from Twitter: @ChristineBlake, @PaganKelly, @JohnBeattyArt, @BtotheEtotheN @EdenSalon and @BebeLeStrange68