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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Eve Luke 2:1-4 Year B

Today my family & I delivered groceries, something we do once a month with the local Catholic worker house. It is a chaotic sort of crazy event, esp. the Christmas delivery. About 30 people fill over 200 bags of groceries & then we divide up and deliver them all over the city.

We are given lists of people who have requested food. Today we approaced a door that had a padlock on the outside. The mail was overflowing from the mailbox. Obviously there was no one home. What to do? The next delivery was a duplex. I knocked on the wrong door. "They are over there." She pointed. Four tiny children ran outside, one a 3 year old boy in only a shirt & underwear. It was 38oF. I asked her if she needed food. She said yes. We brought the bags we had left.

The grateful thank yous from the children break my heart. Last month some kids came screaming to the door when we delivered, so glad to see us.

Our leader calls this organized anarchy. It's called Food Equality and redistribution. Whatever it is, it feeds hungry children at Christmas.

So different, the two views I've had this weekend. Last night I shopped at SuperTarget with the rest of the city. Lots of last minute runs for toys and stocking stuffers. I saw no tree or lights at the house where the hungry children lived.

I ask, which is closer to the stable where Jesus was born? What child understands Christmas better, the one receiving food in their hungry belly, or the one seeing a pile of gifts under a fancy tree? Don't get me wrong, I love giving & receiving gifts...but my heart is breaking today. Because I saw Jesus with a runny nose and bare legs run out in the cold, so glad to get a box of Rice Krispies 5 days before Christmas.

1 comment:

hodgepodgemom said...

I totally agree with you.
When we delivered groceries at Thanksgiving, we had a similar experience. After a day of delivering groceries to people with pit bulls and people who had obviously lied about the number of people in their home, we came to our last house. Mom answered the door. FOUR little faces soon popped up behind her. "Mom, what is that?" they all asked as we handed her the grocery bags. "Food for Thanksgiving," was her reply. Then, the unthinkable...EACH one of those kids said thank you and started jumping up and down. Over FOOD! It was quite a moment! One I wished my own children had been there for and been old enough to understand and comprehend.
Don't get me wrong, I love to buy gifts for my own kids too, but what a world we live in. How blessed are we, even in our darkest hours? How much we all take for granted. My simple hope when I see things like this is that I will raise my children with compassion for others and a desire to help, rather than a desire for more "things."
Merry Christmas.