Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Living the Story #1, Ash Wednesday, 2011

For the season of Lent, I'll be sharing some thoughts here from the daily liturgical gospel readings...

"Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Matt 6:1 -4

Denise was driving home from a community meeting a little over a year ago. The meeting she had attended served food and the organizers offered here some of the left overs to take home. On the way, she saw several homeless men and women in a park and she quickly decided to pull over and offer them some of the food. It was Sunday.

The folks accepted the food with joy, telling Denise how hungry they were as there was no charity that brings food to the homeless on Sunday. Denise was a little taken aback. She decided that no one should go hungry on Sunday.

Denise works all night. Saturday morning she goes home, gets a little sleep, wakes up and starts cooking. She takes food from her kitchen out to the park every Saturday and Sunday.

She has no organization. She has no 501c3. She has no website. She has no funding. She shares her own food with the poor. Her little beat up van is stuffed with tables and chairs. She loves relentlessly and oozes joy. She trusts God to enable her and take care of her and the friends she has made. Everyone is welcome at her table.

And the community of the homeless and poor have responded. Some guys donate a portion of their recycling to Denise to help buy the food. Others who receive food stamps buy her meat at the grocery. Some put nickels and dimes into a small collection can at the end of the table.

Denise will never sound a trumpet for herself. But maybe it's ok if I do. If you want to know more, contact me and I'll let you know how you can support her mission.

But if you want to be like Denise, look around, see a need and quietly trust God to use you to meet it. Beautiful things will happen.

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