The subject of my blog has changed drastically from what I had planned to post after something that happened to me today, not once but twice.
After working several hours this morning, I took off the afternoon to run errands and get some much-needed grocery shopping done.
While in Kroger, a woman approached me and introduced herself. I believe she was in scrubs and she quickly told me her predicament: she and her 3 daughters spent time in Hagar House to escape an abusive situation, they are now out on their own, she has a job but they have no food, could I buy her some food? She wasn’t asking for money, just food.
I was mid-sprint through my grocery shopping, sprint being the operative word because time was limited and grocery shopping is one of my least favorite tasks, give me a vacuum any day over the grocery list. She didn’t appear to be an addict but I realize opiate addiction is easy to hide and crosses all ages, races and income levels. Regardless, I believed her so I gave her some cash, she thanked me and I continued my sprint through Kroger. I hope she bought groceries.
A couple hours later I decided to run to Walmart for a few things I knew they’d have at a better price. After paying for my items and walking back to my car another woman approached me and asked if I could give her some food. She specified that she didn’t want money, just food for her family. Initially I told her that I just gave to someone else in need so it wasn’t a good time. She sheepishly walked away and I watched her cautiously approach others who shook their heads at her.
She looked so desperate and ashamed. I dug for more cash and drove around to where she was and rolled down my window. She was crying and told me she couldn’t believe she was having to do this for food, that her assistance wouldn’t arrive for 2 more weeks and that she has 4 girls at home, all school age. She didn’t really look like an addict either, but who knows. Again, she asked for food and I gave her the cash I had.
I asked if she knew about D.E.A.M. (Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry) and she said someone else had mentioned it to her. I didn’t know enough to tell her about how to go about finding D.E.A.M. but that will change. Next time I will have specific information to share and I’ll have some grocery gift cards to give.
My first inclination for this blog post was to say, “We need to do something about this! We live in the wealthiest country in the world and people are hungry, how can this be??!
Somebody needs to fix this!”
Then I realized that somebody needed to be me.
A good friend of mine spends her birthday collecting items for those in need. She carefully packs bags full of food and toiletries and keeps them in her car for times such as these. My friend is prepared to help and it’s time I am, too. I think God spoke directly to me today through these 2 women. As women we need to lift up and help out each other, with compassion.
The verse that keeps coming to mind is this one:
“'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Mathew 25:40