Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Jacket

When I was about 16 our so, my mom and dad bought me and my sister new ski jackets for Christmas.  Mine was pink and very bright, and I didn't really like it, but I wore it because it was very warm.  My sister's was purple and didn't zip all the way down, but was kind of a pullover style.  When she moved out to the much warmer west coast I adopted the jacket and wore it quite often through my adult years.

Finally, about 4 or 5 years ago, I decided to buy a new winter jacket, mainly because we were at Mark's in the fall and they had their previous year's jackets on sale for about $30.  The catch was that they were pretty small jackets, which is probably why they were left over, but I am a pretty small person, so I took advantage.

We gave my sister's old jacket to the church, and I wonder if it somehow made its way into the goodwill bin (although I surely would have though someone would have bought it - it was a good jacket).  I wonder, because there is a man who comes into the Mustard Seed every week with the EXACT same coat on.  I know that coat inside and out, and it is definitely the same coat - maybe not my coat, because there were likely many of that style made, but I wonder.....

And I am so glad he has it, because it is getting colder, and that jacket is so warm.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Those Little Things

Yikes, I have taking way too long of a break from blogging, and I sure miss it.  This year I have felt such a hole in my heart as the reality of not having my beloved grandparents on Earth came crashing through as I really started to grieve.  Even just days ago I felt myself crying over the injustice of my grandpa dying so quickly after giving himself so unconditionally to my grandma in the past couple of years.

But after this month they will both be gone for over a year, and it's time to move on.  There are more things in store as I open my eyes from this slumber that has lasted so long.

I had a tiring day on Tuesday, after a full day of classes full of thinking and pondering (two book studies, a DVD study and a Faithworks discussion!), and I really didn't feel like going to The Mustard Seed.  Besides, Thursday was cheque day so it shouldn't have been busy....right?  But still I was called downtown, and still I listened, and I am always amazed at the little gems that I experience among the poor and the broken.

About a year ago a big "scary looking" man yelled at me and my co-volunteer because we wouldn't give him 5 sugars (the limit is four).  My co-volunteer was quite scared by the whole thing, but I could see the hurt in the man's eyes from a life of who knows what.  I found out his name is Tim (which immediately makes me chuckly at the thought of Tim in The Holy Grail), and I made a point to always say hi to him and call him by name.  Usually he grunted, definitely never smiled, but on Tuesday I said hi as I handed him his plate and he asked how I was.  Those were the first real words spoken to me since he yelled at us for not giving him sugar.

And then there was the man who has been coming in for dinner since I began over four years ago, always carrying a book, always seeming to be quite happy.  I remember he cut his hair about a year ago and I commented that it looked good, but I thought I was just making casual conversation.  As he left on Tuesday, he said quietly, "Between you and me, you are the only person who smiles at me when you give me a plate", and he looked at me with genuine gratitude.  I had no idea that just a smile had made such a difference for him.

It made me think a lot about what we had discussed in class on Tuesday, how there are so many broken people in the world, and yes, we want them to know Jesus, but first we have to know them as a person, and just be all that Jesus was:  kind, compassionate, caring.  We can get so bogged down by all of the crud going on in the world today, and then forget that we CAN change someone's world - just with a smile or a kind hello. 

And that is how we can change the person at a time.