Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Soup Kitchen

This weekend I traveled to visit family for Easter. As is my tradition, I went to the beach to watch the sunrise, although the recent storms had washed away a significant amount of shoreline. It was rather shocking to see the changes. I attended church with my mom in the church I grew up in. Very nice since I have not been in a church for a very long time. The minister’s sermon was a very moving message about hope. This guy never fails to get me teary in some way. And then serving dinner in the church soup kitchen.

Every Sunday they serve soup and sandwiches, but on holidays they serve a full dinner. This year was ham, roasted potatoes and green beans. And two chicken dinners, specially cooked for the two Jewish gentlemen who come every week. These volunteers, including my 85 year old mother, shop, cook, set up, serve, and clean up. Every single Sunday. I am in awe of these people. And I do love the fact that these women from a Christian church go out of their way make sure the Jewish folks are provided for. This, to me, is what a church should be.

In all the years that I have done this, there have been 6 tables set up serving about 30 people. This year we set up 10 tables and then had to set up a few more. Homeless men, some elderly couples, some folks with obvious mental health issues have been the usual attendees. But this year there were families. I was totally unprepared to see children at these tables. It had a very profound impact on me and my children. The economy has certainly taken its toll. I sat and had a long conversation with a young mother of an 18 month old. Social services wants her to work, and she would like to work, but there is no system to help with childcare. And I thought about the sermon I had just heard about hope - looked around the room and wondered what hope could these people possibly have?

I left there to go to my sister’s for dinner. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, filet mignons and lobster tails. The gap between these two Easter dinners did not escape me. And I kept thinking about that Sarah Bettens lyric:

Here's one reason to be sad
Half of us have nothing and the other feels too fat

And I realize that I once had nothing. And now I am too fat.

Time to make some changes. . .


  1. We are living in strange and confusing times, that's for sure.

  2. You never fail to shame me (in a good way) into rethinking how I should be living. Much to ponder here.

  3. I would love it if my church opened up that way. I don't dare suggest it though, because the fellowship hall is in the basement...and I'm just a passerby in an old family church.

  4. It's so important to appreciate what we have and how fortunate we are to have it. It's also important to give back whenever possible and take care of people who really need it.

    Your mother sounds like such a good person, but that's no surprise.

  5. That post gave me much to think about.
    Thank you for writing it and making me appreciate what I do have in my life and what I can do in any way to give back.

  6. We fed the homeless over thanksgiving and I was blown away at how many children were there. I didn't expect it, at all! I was so thankful for the salvation army to provide housing for these families.

    I will say that the kids seemed to be just as happy, if not happier, than any other kid. It was as if they didn't know the difference.

    I think everyone should experience this, it will definitely change the way you look at things.