Friday, September 23, 2016

1000 Sandwiches - more or less

Honest to goodness this just happened.  I picked up Kid 2 from school wearing some new pants that I thought looked more than cute on me.  In fact, in my mind I looked just like this... wearing my olive green cargo jogger pants.

But then Kid 2 said I reminded him of his Mammaw.

Mammaw would be my mother in law, God rest her soul and her banded ankle sweat pants that she always wore with white keds.

Between Kid 2 and male nurse, Tim, my ego needs a boost.

Then this happened.... 

Because sometimes my volunteer heart forgets to tell my mind that making a million sandwiches isn't easy.  This was round one of the sandwich assembly line, prepping food for the high school football team's pre-game meal.  It was really more of a snack since I couldn't cook up an all- you -can- eat buffet for them.  

But y'all, I had no idea that the kids weren't eating before games till Kid 1 called me last week and asked me to bring him McDonalds.  So then of course I got right on trying to feed the world -  and now I can't get the smell of turkey and white bread out of my nose.  

And then our car broke down and I ended up driving the cutest little rental.  But it's really little compared to my car - and low to the ground -  and I have no idea how people can enjoy such things.  I practically rolled out into the grocery store parking lot trying to get out of the driver's door.  Again, reminding me and others of Mammaw. 

This is a picture of me feeling very small inside my very small rental car.  It's actually a picture I took right after this giant truck parked so close to my little bitty car that I had to climb in through the backseat and do some gymnastics to arrive in the driver's area.  Geez.  People are rude.  Or maybe they just didn't see me way down there.  

Small has been the word of the week for me....whispered in my ear in so many ways. 

When I took the food to the school for the team, I found myself apologizing that it wasn't more.  I found myself wishing each sandwich had more meat and that I had chosen a healthy, whole grain bread.  But instead, I chose food based on budget and the fact that I was feeding 75 hungry teenage boys.  I wanted it to be more.  But that was my own insecurity worrying that it wasn't enough. (Fireman Dave and I also discussed the need for proper pre-game refrigeration of the 2 billion sandwiches so we wouldn't be forever known as the parents who food poisoned the football team.)

And then this happened....  

The sweaty and accomplished look of the first win of the season.  Good work out there Kid 1.  I like to think the turkey fueled your efforts.  And the pretzels and the giant case of bananas.  

Y'all, today I met a lady who is living in a homeless shelter.  And she had her shelter resident book that she wanted to show me to prove that she has to earn $10 a day to pay for a night's stay there.  But she had a plan - a plan to ask 5 people for $2 each.  And to show each of us her book to prove that she was telling the truth.  

And she thanked me for the donation.  But mostly she thanked me for smiling at her, and for not making her feel small.  

I wanted to tell her how clean she looked and smelled and how organized her bag was when she opened it to show me her book.  And I wanted to tell her that I agree with her,  .. that this situation is only temporary.  But I didn't.  

I got back in my tiny rental car because Fireman Dave was meeting me at the rental place to return it.  Then we had to pick up my car from the mechanic.  So I drove away.  Feeling small in my efforts.  And in my concern.  And in my actions.  

And right now in my mind I am praying over those $2 - and hoping she earns the other $8 for the night in the shelter.  And I'm thanking God that I smiled, even though I didn't know it till she told me.  And I'm hoping that lots of small adds up to a lot more big in her life.  Starting today.  

And I'm trying to to remind myself that even though the team probably could've used more food that day, that a little was better than nothing.  And that somewhere way back when, as the story goes, a little boy offered 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish - and it turned out to be more than enough.  Because it was done for God's glory.  

Y'all, this sounds so crazy.  But I prayed over those sandwiches.  I prayed for it to be energy for hungry kids, and I prayed that someone would know that people care.  And I know teen boys better than I ever imagined I would, and it is a documented fact that they won't even consider the depth of the offering for at least 15 more years, if even then.  But someday, I hope one of them discovers a person in need, remembers a need met of his own, and sets out to do the same for someone else.  Who knows if that will ever happen.   Maybe it will.  Even if  my own kid sees that giving is good, I'll consider this situation a win. 

But a little bit of effort goes a long way.  And a little bit of time can be invested to grow something bigger.  And even small acts of kindness can grow into something beautiful when God steps in.  

I'm not sure God smelled like turkey all day, though. 

post script.... because I'm crazy and unexpectedly discovered my new passion for ending football player hunger, I am committed to the next 5 weeks of team feedings.  So if you know someone in the grocery business, restaurant business, or just someone with a whole lot of deli meat lying around, let me know.  I'm trying to line up donations.

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