Cooking for a homeless shelter has blessings and challenges. I'll be there every Thursday from now through March, when the weather warms. I always feel a strange weight on my shoulders, that first night. It gets better!
I stood there gazing up at a moon - dancing with the clouds.
The cold night air made me shake and I felt sadness.
Only ten people - ten homeless people came to eat and find warmth.
Where were the others?
They fear being trapped by some authority.
They think - maybe someone will not let them freely leave.
So many stay away and feel safer in the cold - hungry - but safe.
Why do we fear them?
I listen to their chatter - quick banter - and then sudden silence.
They're not ignorant - not stupid - not lowlife.
The circumstances differ and yet sound the same.
Where do they find the smiles they share?
In the bathroom lounge I choke back emotion - I feel what I don't want to feel.
I might find myself one, maybe two steps away from their life - their lot.
It terrifies me until I rejoin them in the dining hall.
What gives them courage to continue?
The moon is rising higher - tears freezing on my cheek.
Snuggled up cozy they sleep more peacefully than we - if we sleep at all.
One day a week from now though next March - this is their haven of rest.
Where will they go for the rest of the weeks - of days?
As I said above, it gets better. This year Christmas day is a Thursday - we will be rocking!
Frank Sinatra - Let it snow
Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas is you
Band Aid - 1984 - Do they know it's Christmas?
Faith Hill - Where are you Christmas? (The Grinch)