15 October 2007

Mentor Monday--All without Air-Conditioning

I was so proud of myself, of us, really. My husband, my parents, and I decided one Christmas morning to serve breakfast at a homeless shelter called GodTell.
Yes, so spiritual.
We spooned eggs on to their plates along with toast and hash browns, orange juice and coffee, and a smile, of course. Then I played some carols on the piano. Mary took us on a tour: the rooms, neat and clean, the storage area with diapers stacked and donated clothes hung, the bathrooms, scrubbed and sanitized.
Maybe it was Thanksgiving. Which would have meant giving up watching the Macy's Day Parade.
So spiritual.
The group consisted of mostly men, a couple of women, and one mother with her three children.
Then my husband, my parents, and I went home to our turkey dinner and mashed potatoes and hot wassail.
Yes, yes, so spiritual.
GodTell is run by Mary and Martin, whose desire it is to shower the down-and-out with God's love, to give them food, a place to stay, clothing, job interview helps, and the Word of God.
After breakfast, on a typical day, Martin teaches a short Bible study. Then the tenants have to leave. They can't come back until 4:00.
They have to look for a job.
They have no suits on their backs and a brown bag with a sandwich and maybe chips or an apple in hand. They have their resumes, spiffied and shinied-up with the help of Mary and Martin and a few other volunteers. They're ready to conquer the world. At 4:00 they come back. Each has chores to finish before dinner to keep the place going.
The goal: those who come to GodTell won't need to be there long. They'll find new jobs, new homes, a new life. In the meantime, they have food, shelter, clothing, and love.
There's one couple, though, that will never leave. Mary and Martin.
They live their full-time in a trailer next to the tenants' home. And since the tenants don't have air-conditioning, neither do Mary and Martin. Did I tell you that this is in hot and muggy southeast Texas?
But sometimes God's love looks that way. Living with the poor. Without air-conditioning.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

It's funny how I can pat myself on the back for doing something so nice, so spiritual for God's least and then go back to my own with all my stuff and smiles. "It's Shake'n Bake, an' Ah hepped."
But finding myself in the trenches for the long haul, I've not done that. Those that do, my highest respect for them along with some of my deepest shame for myself.