Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.
The room was bustling with activity as the Food Pantry clients walked through the door hoping to get enough food to last the week. Every week they come earlier, the list grows longer but the Pantry does not open any earlier. So they wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes with the nervousness of a cornered possum.
The room was alive with clients picking the extra free items, volunteers cutting scrumptious cakes and other sweets. Crock pots of steaming soups were being brought out from the kitchen. One by one each family filled out the necessary paperwork and added their name to the ever growing list.
25 then 30 then 35 the list grows longer and longer and the food pantry hasn’t even opened yet. It’s a very typical active day at the food pantry.
Finally we had prayer time and the doors open. The first client is called, then the next and as we worked through the 40 waiting families some got tired of their long wait. Some acknowledge the wait is so long because they arrived more than an hour early. Some are so patient and kind offering words that lifted my spirit and then add a hug!! The kind words are like ice cream and their hugs are the topping! Meanwhile, more clients kept arriving to add their names to the ever growing list.
It’s my volunteer job to take care of the input, hunt down clients when it’s their turn and make sure everyone gets taken care of in a smooth, orderly fashion. When we have busy days, like this one in September, I occasionally need to be firm and ask those that don’t belong in the pantry area to please leave, they don’t always understand and I am the “mean one”. Their words cut like a knife and I am left to put on a happy face and continue my job.
I have had several challenging incidents, at the food pantry, lately and it has caused me to look within asking myself, “Is it them?, Lord, or is it me? Am I being difficult?” Honestly, I have been a little hard on myself. I have spent time seeking God, and His wisdom and understanding.
I was sharing with my husband, tonight, that God has both blessed me and also cursed me with a very tender heart. On one hand, I have a lot of empathy and compassion for others and on the other hand, my heart hurts with the actions of others.
I was losing my joy of serving, saddened to constantly hear one person tell others within my ear shot how mean I was. I know God’s opinion is what matters, I should let the words of others flow away from me like water off a duck’s back but I am human. I have a tender heart, also, I am an introvert so just being there, doing the job I do, is a challenge and all God. By the end of the day I am peopled out. LOL
So the only two activities I could think of, in the quiet hours this morning, to get back my joy were to pray and to search God’s Word for His truth. I begged God to give me wisdom and understanding in prayer and that led me to His Word. I was so desperate I wrote many verses on sticky notes, to take with me, so I would have them to shield the darts. Through God’s great grace, mercy and love no darts were thrown my way today-only love.
Today was a very different day. No harsh words. So many blessed me with compliments and hugs. Out of no where someone would come up and let me know how much I was appreciate and give me a hug. Many told me they could not do the job I do and do it with a smile. God was alive and active in the food pantry and all I can say is Thank You, Jesus.
In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6
If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!