Celebrate Summer

Going through the school’s playground late Thursday, he pushed a cart loaded with red bins covered with green lids, like bins you use to store Christmas decorations. The bins on his cart didn’t contain decorations. They were filled with food for children living in poverty.

Some students were on the playground as he pushed the cart to the bus boarding area. A young boy ran up to him, “Did I miss you Monday,” he asks? “I wanted a pastry.” The man pushing the cart tells him, “We’ll be there at 5 o’clock Monday. Don’t forget.”

On Monday, the young boy was the third child to arrive while we were unloading the car. Joseph arrived first, offering to help us set up. Then Andrew wearing Mardi Gras beads arrived carrying a smile as big as the beads around his neck. The young boy who missed the previous Monday arrived, selecting bread for his family. He took a French loaf, some sliced bread, and a cheese loaf. I suggested he take his overflowing grocery bag full of bread to his family, assuring him I would save a place in the pastry line for him. When he came back, he stood in his reserved place. When his turn came he selected a large cookie shaped like a flip flop covered with green icing that matched his shirt. He asked, “Can I take something for my mom?” I explained, “We have to make sure that everyone in line gets something. Stay in line so that you can get something else.”

At the pastry table for the second time, he selected another treat for himself and a treat for his mom. He stayed around, coming back to the pastry table a third time with crumbs on his face. He took another sweet for himself.

A young girl whose family moved from the motel to an apartment a few months earlier surprised us today. She lives closer to her school but misses her friends at the motel. She likes to ride the bus to be with her friends. Her mom picks her up at the motel a few days a week.

Summer Fun

Summer Fun

These young children remind me of the simple joys of life.

  • Offer to help others.
  • Give genuine smiles.
  • Wear Mardi Gras beads to celebrate anything.
  • Share bread and pastries.
  • Ride with friends.

The last day of school is a week from Thursday. This summer, let’s try to help others. Smile a lot, celebrate something every day, share food and stay in touch with friends.

We can learn a lot at any table filled with bread and love especially when children are around us.

Summer Storms

Life storms hit in summer when we might be thinking of slow, sunny days.

Like a storm’s high winds that twist and tear down trees or branches, friends and family have lost loved ones.  A business associate’s wife passed away.  A beloved uncle of a friend has passed.  An aunt who loved to garden suddenly passed after planting flowers on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  One of my husband’s favorite authors has passed away.  A cousin has passed.  Some storms allow time to prepare, many do not.

A large injured turtle was attempting to make it across a busy road while we were on our way to church.  Blood oozed from part of its body.  Alert and kind motorists stopped to allow the turtle a safe passage across the road.  The turtle’s wounds were visible.  People’s wounds may not be visible.  Wounds of emotional and mental storms aren’t easily visible.  Wounds of bordering homelessness or financial distress aren’t necessarily obvious.

Storm survivors may be looking for someone to help soothe the pain from the loss of someone dear to them.  They may be looking for a somebody to hold a hand to help them get through dark clouds of distress.  Could one of us be a somebody to help?  Could one of us somebodies provide comfort?

There will be storms.  Surviving summer storms is easier when caring people step forward with an umbrella to help.

“There is a balm in Gilead, to make the  wounded whole, there is a balm in Gilead, to heal the sin-sick soul.”  The words are from the African-American spiritual, “There Is a Balm in Gilead.”

Prepare for Storm Clouds

Prepare for Storm Clouds