Day 10 of the emergency shelter. Three of our guests left today, on their own accord. One returned back to his home in the woods, one began his journey back to his home in Florida, and the other… we’re not certain. Each took a piece of our hearts with them as they left, and each left an imprint in our hearts and minds.
We also had a two families come in for food today. The first, a mother and four children, came and shared a meal with us. We asked how long it had been since they’d had a hot meal. It had been several days. Our hearts broke… the youngest child was in the 2-3 year old age range. The mother, grateful, embarrassed, and apologetic, was so thankful that her kids were being tended to. We sent a care package home with them. The second was a family of three. The mother had been in to have a meal yesterday. A bit skeptical at first, and tentative about taking food, but she, too, said it had been several days since her last meal. She was back today to see if we would send food for her family. Of course we did.
When I see the magnitude of the need – real, legitimate need, I’m amazed, humbled, and heartbroken. I’m reminded of the modern day parable of the boy walking along a beach that is filled with starfish that have washed up on the sand. He is picking them up one by one and throwing them back in the ocean. A man watches this for a while and asks what he is doing and the boy states the obvious, that he is saving the starfish. The man shakes his head and tells him, “You’re wasting your time. You can’t save all these starfish.” The boy looks at him for a moment, picks up another starfish and looks at it briefly then tosses it into the surf. He then looks back at the man and says, “Saved that one.”
We crossed the “500 Meals Served” mark today.
I know we can’t reach everyone that needs help. But we can’t simply walk by and pretend not to see those who need help. We must not only see them, but help them.
Please understand… we’ve only done this for 10 days, in a very limited capacity. The Christian Center, Operation Love, and others in the community do this type of ministry EVERY DAY. They are the real heroes.
The Mercy Table can’t wait to serve alongside with individuals and ministries like these.