Project Advent, Day 6: Second Helpings


Today, I returned to FUMC for another turn at Second Helpings.  Some of the same faces were there from last Thursday, as well as some people I hadn't met before.  There are some folks who come and participate each time, and others who have a certain day of the week that they show up for.  One of the Tuesday regulars is my friend Lee.  I had somebody snap a picture of us together, but it didn't turn out too well.
Lee is a retired Methodist pastor, but, at 83 years old, he still acts as a guest preacher at area churches sometimes.  Courtney and I spent a year in a Bible study class with him and his wife Ruth several years ago, and he always had these really thoughtful, interesting insights into scripture, delivered gently and wonderfully.  He and Ruth always seem to sense the Sundays when I am most frustrated with my children's behavior in church, because those are always the days when they come up to me after service, put a hand on my shoulder, and say, "It's just so special to see parents bringing their children to church with them!"  And, in that way that only grandparents can do, they are able to instantly calm my kids.

But back to Second Helpings...  It's been snowy in Lubbock the last few days, so there was a big turnout for a hot meal today.  I'd estimate that there were between 150 and 200 people there.  Because it was so cold outside, we let people come inside and wait at tables, instead of lining up at the door like usual.  This gave me the chance to meet and talk briefly with some of the guests on my way into the kitchen.

Because the Second Helpings program depends heavily on donations of food, the menu is often a hodge-podge of different things, depending on what's available or what's been donated.  Today, we had fried chicken, chicken fingers, pizza, two kinds of soup, cornbread, hominy, brussels sprouts, salad, and cake. 

My first job today was to prepare a sack of fresh brussels sprouts by trimming the stems off of them and cleaning them before they were steamed.  Now, I love brussels sprouts, but I know that not everybody does.  Doesn't matter - they were one of the most popular items that we served today, because they were good and fresh.  After that, I stayed busy with other jobs as I found them - helping scrub out pans, emptying trash, and carrying food out to the serving tables.  When it was time to start serving, I put on gloves and gave out pieces of pizza and fried chicken to the people coming through the line.

There was this moment, when we'd served maybe a quarter of the people there, when I looked down at the food remaining in my trays, and didn't think there'd be enough to feed them all.  Even once the kitchen replenished my trays with some more food, it didn't seem like everybody would have some.  I was wrong.  There was more than enough.  Loaves and fishes, man.  Have faith.  Feed others and be fed in return.

Gratitude Project: Courtney returned home last night, and I am so glad for her safe return.  I just keep staring at her today, because I'm so happy to see her.  Today I am thankful for my wife.  She knows me better than I know myself.  She is funny and beautiful and interesting.  She encourages me to pursue things that I love.  She puts up with me doing crazy blog projects.  I love her so much.


Ali said...

loaves and fishes, man. love it!

and... is it your camera? or do you only have drunk people taking pictures for you?! drunk at the fancy schmancy party the other night is one thing. but, someone might have to have a talk with the person who was drunk at second helpings. just sayin'.

and... YAY! courtney's home!!

Ann said...

Good work my friend.  And I have to say, I just love what you had to say about your wife.  Very refreshing to hear a husband be so appreciative of a good woman.

Post a Comment

Every comment is like a fresh flower, so please write!