I am starting to think about summer vacation and about enjoying the heat, maybe getting a little tanned, plunging into the water for a refreshing dip now and then, and binging on food I generally associate with summer - watermelon, hamburgers, lemonade. How glorious! I've earned this. I need this. I can't wait.
And then I can. Guilt takes over. I am ashamed of my self-centredness.
Yesterday, Street Friends gathered around our door to collect a lunch, emergency food supplies and other essentials. This happens every week on Tuesdays during Door Outreach. The sun was shining and it was very warm out - but this was not a particularly good thing. From the early days at the beginning of COVID when we would see around 20 during this 2-hour window, now there can be over 80. This translates into line-ups and wait times. We set up our big canopy to provide some protection from the sun - but it isn't enough. Our Friends try to balance their place in line with their need for shade. Our incredible volunteers walk the line offering water, Freezies and conversation to those waiting - and this has to be enough.
Yesterday reminded me that what I might view as wonderful - sun, heat, long days - isn't necessarily so for others, especially those who are not able to take a break from the business of survival. The one break we can offer is the BBQ we have planned for our Friends later in the summer. There won't be a pool, but we will be able to offer up some great summer food, protection from the sun and lots of affirming conversation. Sadly, it is just one afternoon over the entire summer, but we'll make every effort to make it special.
I'll still take a little time away, but a lot more of it will be spent on prayer and reflection than on diving into a pool. The Good Father has a way of reminding me to count my blessings.
~Margo, Managing Director