It was another Saturday afternoon from 4-5pm that my friend Barb and I showed up at the Soup Kitchen to continue to build our friendships with those in need. No sooner did I step out of my car when Chad who has been filling me in on his life story couldn’t wait to give me an update. We probably stood outside listening to his update for the first 10-15 minutes of our visit. I can’t begin to tell you how touched I am by that. He’s like all of us. We all want a safe person we can talk to and know that the person we are talking to actually cares about our life and well being.
Once Chad had filled us in on the latest changes, we proceeded indoors to find our place at the table to continue our friendships with Bessie, Sonya, Judy, Jaz, and Tony. Bessie with a few chuckles lovingly confronted us and asked, “Where have you been?” (I was gone playing in a golf tournament last weekend, but she was gone the two Saturdays prior.) I bantered back and said, “What do you mean? Where have you been? I have only been gone once!” She just smiled and couldn’t wait to share that her cataract surgery went well and could see so much better. It was such a relief to have that behind her.
The last 15 minutes of my time with these dear people was taking alot of teasing from Bessie and her attempt to figure out my age because of my white hair. She suggested I was 55 (I must say that was discouraging!) When I told her I was only 48, she took a much longer, harder look with her better eyes and decided I didn’t look as old as 55. For those who know me well, you know I just had to give her a little bit of grief for it! Once we got our ages established, she just looked at me and Barb and said, “You are really nice. Are you going to be here next Saturday?” I sat there stunned and realized that after intermingling with these folks week after week that I was accepted as part of their community. I’m “in”! Life is good. They haven’t asked me for a thing. They just appreciate anyone who cares and who is “nice”. I think that is what the Lord requires of us as we build relationships with others. Genuinely care about others and be nice (treat others as you would want to be treated). Pretty basic, huh?