Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blessings in small packages

My time in New York has taught me that no matter how much or how little you have, you can be a blessing to others. On Monday, my service group went to a church in Manhattan to prepare and serve breakfast for whoever needed a meal. One of the pastors there estimated that about 75% of the guests coming in were homeless. As I waited towards the end of the meal to hand out bagged lunches for the afternoon, I noticed carts, suitcases, and bags against the wall-these were the possessions of some who have no other earthly possessions but what was in those containers. This was equivalent to what I had brought with me just on the trip here! Even though they had so little, many were a blessing to me that day. As I handed out the lunches, some asked me how my day was, where I am from, and brightened my day with thier hospitality to me as a guest in New York. Through our interfaith service work here, I feel like we have been a blessing to those that we are serving and preparing meals with as well. We are having such a great time working together! Yesterday as we prepared meals and served, we danced and laughed as we joked around while we worked and the atmosphere there was one of energy and enthusiasm. We are only here for 5 days, but God is truly working through us to brighten the day of those we have met at our service sites. A simple smile or taking the time to get to know a stranger and give them the opportunity to tell their story may make all the difference in someone's day. I can't even describe in words how much it has meant to me to form new friendships, discuss tough issues that we all face in our communities, nation, and world, and be in the presence of God together with people of faith. I am convinced that interfaith work is crucial in reconciling the past and working towards a brighter future.

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