The youth of Good Shepherd found abundance as they served in Chicago. Last week I told about the abundance of love and grace we found working with the children at R-City. This week I’d like to share some thoughts about the abundance of hospitality.
A Just Harvest serves meals to the hungry every night of the week 365 days a year. In the past 20 years, they only missed one night and that was because the pipes froze and food could not be prepared. The evening we were there, we served 118 meals in a couple of hours.
The beautiful thing about “A Just Harvest” is that guests are seated at tables and are served by volunteers. There is time for conversation and community over drinks of ice tea, lemonade, or coffee. We had time to talk to people about favorite Chicago sports teams and learn about favorite activities to do while in Chicago. Guests who have lived in Chicago their whole lives, tried imagining what it was like to live in a town of 3000 people. We laughed together about the size of mosquitos in MN as we delivered plates of food and desserts to each person.
A Just Harvest is serving up more than food. It serves dignity. It serves belonging. It serves community. All to a population of people who are usually ignored and invisible. As their mission states: “A Just Harvest is committed to its ultimate purpose—“until all have plenty and no one is left in need” while we remain agitated by the need for our existence. This agitation, of course, keeps us ever mindful that our daily activities must always be in line with bringing our values to bear in the world.”
This was one of the locations where the personal care supplies you donated were given. Every diner that evening went home with a health item of their choice.
Another place we found the abundance of hospitality was at Elizabeth Wood apartments. We played BINGO with a hilarious group of seniors. We went in feeling shy but open to the experience. Their laughter, joy, teasing, and antics inspired us all to be like them when we “grow up”.
The new spaces at Good Shepherd will give us opportunity to grow in hospitality. May we find ways to use the building to promote community, belonging, laughter, joy, conversation and hope!