Those Who Have the Least ... Often Have the Most to Give
Thursdays are my favourite day of the week. It is the day that I get to spend time with some of London's less fortunate. As part of the meal program offered by the London Food Action Coalition, Beth Emanuel Church opens its doors every Thursday evening to those in need of a hot meal and a warm, safe place to spend some time. Some of the people who come to the meal are struggling with addictions, some are living in an abusive situation, some are facing financial crisis and others have been struck by a very difficult life circumstance that has landed them in need of assistance from others. So why would volunteering in a church that is sometimes filled with people not having showered in several days, high on drugs, without teeth, clean clothes or a home, be one of my favourite ways to spend my time? Because the gratitude and kindness that these people give to me is beyond description. I have never met people that have so much love to give and with so much appreciation for the simple things in life, the things that most of us take for granted. My heart swells every time I step in that church door and am greeted by the toothless grins, sarcastic senses of humour, warm hugs and hearts bigger than any I have ever known. People often thank me for the kind act I do by serving a weekly meal in one of London's roughest neighbourhoods; for supporting, listening and patiently offering my time to those who simply need someone to care. What people don't know is that I am the one who has thanks to give, the one who feels truly blessed beyond words to be in the company of such wonderful souls, souls that are often deeply wounded, sometimes beyond repair. To me a wounded soul is a compassionate soul. Those who have suffered the most often have the most to teach and the most love to give. The next time you encounter one of the people I am talking about, I urge you to look beyond their exterior and any judgement of their circumstances. Instead, choose to look into their eyes and hearts and see who they really are. See their true spirit and soul, the one we all share in this journey called life. I'm certain that if you do, you will know why Thursdays are my absolute favourite day of the week.