Saturday, November 16, 2013

Serving The Underserved

... or is it the undeserving?

Earlier this week, I worked at Catholic Charities Food Resource Center. There was the usual assortment of lovable folks - a 78-year-old Filipina who was delighted to be selected for a Thanksgiving prize basket, a hapless, mid-40s couple who were married earlier this year but were now homeless*, an elderly, obese black woman in a wheelchair who was sunshine itself and so on. There was one guy in particular that stuck out in a different way.

The dude was a Hispanic gangsta. Mid-20s, a real tough guy. He had two tears tattooed under each eye, marking him as someone who had killed a person, served four terms in jail or both. He knew I saw the tattoos and could tell from my face that I knew what they might mean. As I helped him through his choices, I marveled at the surreal aspect of it all. Here was a guy who had preyed upon others coming in to receive love and support from Catholic volunteers. It was like sandpaper meeting cashmere.

For all the windbaggery on this blog about marriage and morality (Dean calls me his favorite moral scold), I was so grateful to God that I had a chance to show affection and warmth to this guy.

I even got him to smile a few times.

I pray that I brought him a little closer to You.
* - More on this in another post. Serving the homeless can be so unbelievably gut-wrenching.

1 comment:

Dean said...

So awesome.