Yesterday, after writing about service, I went to work, and then I came home and cooked and cooked and cooked. Once a month (during the non-summer months), my suburban church takes dinner down to First Lutheran, in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, where every Wednesday, the church serves a meal to the mostly homeless, mostly men who show up at 6:00. Afterwards, there's a small Vespers service.
The conventional wisdom has been that we don't see crowds of 80 or more unless the weather is bad. Last night, we had a lovely, late summer night. And we had over 100 people. We ran out of food, which we've never done before. We made extra mashed potatoes and gravy for the late-comers, but we ran out of everything else. People even ate the vegetarian meatballs (made out of lentils), which I brought for the one vegetarian who often shows up. They ate every single cookie and every scrap of bread, which in the past, we usually had more leftovers than we could give away. It was like the feeding of the 5000, only in reverse.
Next time, we'll prepare for more. But it does give me pause. Do we have more people plunged into homelessness than we did last year, or was it just a flukey thing? I tend to see it as a bad sign, and it makes me wonder how many people will show up when the weather is bad.
Our pastors were all at a regional meeting, so the First Lutheran people asked me if I would pray; my church members had nominated me as the natural one to say grace. Is it because of my booming voice? I can't be the only one who has spent my entire life saying grace. Of course, I said I would pray, and it was one of those times that I'm grateful for my booming voice--it's hard to get 100 hungry people to settle down enough to say grace.
I saw it as one of those Holy Spirit nudges, but I'm unsure of what I'm being nudged towards. Seminary? I know that when I serve dinner at First Lutheran, I feel most like I'm doing what I was put on earth to do. Meaningful work! I have a similar feeling when I serve communion.
Hmm. Serving communion and feeding the destitute. A career path or a course towards crucifixion?
feeling the feelings…
7 months ago