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I just came in on a Saturday afternoon to get some quiet work done, and a hand waved at me from a vehicle parked on the street. I recognized the car and the man “Thomas” who owed me a little loan I had given him to get through the month. Today is the first of the month. He gladly paid me back adding an extra $5.00 in gratitude, and we chatted. He had more car troubles that he is addressing, and the car is his home. I gave back the $5.00 saying, “I think you need this more than I do right now.” He humbly and gratefully accepted it as he talked about getting some food to eat.
Yesterday as I was eating lunch, and the only one at the table with me had left. I was enjoying a moment of quiet, which doesn’t happen much in the dining room. Another guest, “James” whom I had not seen for a while joined me then, a delightful man in his 40’s.
“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?” (JAMES 2:15-16)
Recently a person of need started appearing on the exit ramp of the Lodge to Livernois. A tall gaunt women wanders in and out of 4 lanes. She is so thin I cannot imagine what size she might be. She is graceful with hands and arms outstretched—as in a dance—asking for money. Her image haunts me frequently during the day: She is somebody’s daughter. Does she have any family? Whatever happened to her that she must beg on the freeway? Yet I know that in the Gospel sense she is my sister, too. What to do?
The other day the Meldrum Kitchen received some beautiful cabbage from a donor. Also we had some gorgeous swiss chard from our Earthworks Urban Farm. After all the coring and chopping, we ended up making a “smothered cabbage” side dish. The swiss chard was used with the rest of the cabbage. When we prepare them, we de-stem them, but we save the stems & chop them up into small pieces (less waste, food, no need to compost). We add the leafy greens from beets, radishes, baby salad turnips & even carrot tops. I like to use something rather than just throwing it out. This summer heat can make our appetites’ decline, but we want to stay satisfied while eating lighter.