Thursday, December 9, 2004

ALONE AT CHRISTMAS

AT OUR CLOTHING MINISTRY. The second Wednesday evening of each month is Clothing Ministry night at West Morris Street Free Methodist Church. Yeah, I wish we were able to share more frequently, but it's a faithful expression of grace from our congregation for which I'm thankful. We begin with a shared meal of soup and sandwiches, I open the Word for a gospel story, and then neighors select clothing they desire in the pantry.

FESTIVE NIGHT. Last night's Clothing Ministry was festive. Christmas music played on a CD as about forty-five of us ate the meal together. We also sang together in a "request-a-carol" format (including each song is Spanish for our Latino neighbors, which number about one third of those who gathered). In the pantry, we added an offering of new and gently used coats into the mix, items our Missions Commission had challenged the church to bring in.

BUT ONE FELT ALL ALONE. But at least one woman was overwhelmed by her aloneness in the midst of this well-intentioned evening. She left the following words written on a placemat. She didn't sign her name.

Can no one see the pain, can no one see me?
I must really be alone.
So sad. A mother's love. Brokenheartedness.
I drop to my knees and ask, "why me, God?
Why has my life been so hard?"
3 kids at 17 years. Married at 15 years.
Now, 36 years later, with my earthly father gone
no more than 3 weeks. What can I do?
My kids are all grown, except for one.
And on this Christmas, we don't have a home,
No Christmas lights, no more children's laughter.
Only tears, only tears.
Hurt for my drug-addicted boys.
Hurt for my daughter because I can no
longer give her what she needs.
Can no one see me?
Am I really all alone?

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