We have lost all sense of normalcy.
Which I guess is better than losing all sense of decency, but I’ve always thought that was a little overrated. And too, it was my loss of feigned decency that opened the door to my eventual working with hungry, dirty, pungent, and precious clients in the Storehouse.
However, I digress.
August serves are behind us. The numbers are off the scale. We served one client short of 400. It stands as the record month for clients, even among the other five-serve months. And, oh, the food. In these five weeks, we donated 15,865 pounds which was either purchased with donated dollars, donated by groups and individuals, or picked up at local partner establishments. Among our clients this month, 83 came for the first time, roughly 21% of our total.
There is a strange tension in our Storehouse. Spring says we’re supposed to be working ourselves out of a job. And by that she means it is our goal and hope that everyone we’re serving now, or might serve in the future, would be blessed with the self-resourcefulness to be able to shop in grocery stores like the majority of our community does.
But I keep feeling joy when our clients come. I know I should feel something else, because their being with us means they are not yet self-sufficient enough not to need us. I feel joy because I know they need us and they’ve found us. Maybe I should just feel joy that the new clients have found us. I guess I hold prioritized hopes in my heart. First, that our clients would never need us. And second, that if they do, they’ll come.
We’ve recently learned of a pantry in Cabot that caters only to veterans. The pantry serves only one time a month, but a veteran can take all they think they’ll need for a month. A month! Our clients can only come once a month also, but they can only take what amounts to three days of food. I’m not sure that holds anymore, but it was in the original design, probably borrowed from a pantry that was already established.
Our records indicate that on average, families leave with almost right at 12 pounds of food per person in in their family. I got that figure by dividing our total food distribution so far, 103415, by the number of people represented in the families we’ve served, which is, 8579. Do those numbers seem as ridiculously unimaginable to you as the do to me?
It’s possible that all the food a family takes could be eaten in three days. I guess it would depend on the food items taken. It would take anyone a few days to work through twelve pounds of peanut butter, even if they ate it three meals a day. Which I totally could. Just sayin.
But when they did, they’d be back.
Have you ever noticed how our God is a by-the-day God? When he brought his people out of Egypt, the scripture says there were 600K men, so with wives and children, we could imagine a million people. And do you know what God did when they got hungry? He made quail fall on the ground at night, and bread flakes they called Manna fall every morning. Our God fed a million people, every day.
But here’s the weirdest part. It was totally not like Walmart or Kroger. You can go into either one of those stores and leave with as much as you can put on your credit card.
They could only take what would last one day.
Except, of course, because they couldn’t collect food on Sunday, which might just be the origination of our Blue Laws. They had to get that on the day before.
And sometimes they picked up more than they could eat in a day, and that didn’t work out well for them. And, on some Sabbaths, they went hungry cause they’d forgotten that pick up for the Sabbath rule.
But my flesh doesn’t like this whole idea. I want a cushion. A full pantry. And fridge. And freezer. I want tomorrow in the bank. Or the pantry. That’s not true. I want the next two weeks in my pantry.
Remember when we lived in Europe? Well, some of you do. Cindy and I lived in England for two years and then the Netherlands for another six. And, incidentally, we never learned why the Netherlands is plural. We could only find one Netherland the entire six years we lived there.
And whether people lived in villages or cities, they pretty much shopped for food they’d eat that day or the next. They didn’t have huge refrigerators at home because they didn’t have huge homes. That was kinda like Exodus living.
But I don’t like Exodus living.
And yet, that’s what we’re offering at the Storehouse.
Jesus gives a lecture on a hillside and Matthew writes it down. Eventually, Jesus works his way to prayer.
And, among his encouragements, he suggests we pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread.”
And that’s basically what we offer at the Storehouse. August has ended. September is coming. And most of those 399 people will be back. For their daily bread. And that’s just how this works.
Jesus wants us coming back. Every day.
On a separate matter, I’ve noticed an odd phenomenon associated with the evening serves. Several of our daytime volunteers can’t come in the evening, and that list will grow as the evening sky darkens increasingly sooner in the day. And we miss those people! But at the same time, we get to serve with volunteers for whom the evening serve is their only opportunity. And what a treasure it is to serve with them!
And as I close, I would just like to say that if you get a hankering to pick up some food at Krogeron our behalf, we could truly use anything that would go in our section 3. That’s the quick meal section. We serve chili, beef stew, interesting soups, beanie weenies, Raviolis, and, wait for it…pasta sauce. We can’t keep enough of those in our Storehouse.
I am the Storehouse Director and get the privilege of writing about the people that Jesus loves.
Contact Mike Rush at firstname.lastname@example.org for all things "Volunteer".
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