Sunday, as the girls and I packed twenty-nine lunches to hand out to the homeless, Bob wandered in and out of the kitchen, not saying much but definitely watching. Amy and I were talking through the details and trying to figure out the best way to get the babies to their aunt's house so we could make it downtown and back in time for church. Nothing seemed to be working out as far as timing in regards to the kids. That’s when Amy looked at Bob and said, “Why don’t we just load the kids in your truck and you can follow behind us as we make the deliveries? Then we can all head to church together afterwards.”
When I heard Amy say those words to Bob, I turned to look at his face, knowing how strongly he felt about the entire thing. I knew he would never agree to go. Imagine my complete shock when I heard him say, “Yeah, ok. I can do that.” As Bob loaded the kids into their car seats, I grabbed Amy by the arm and told her we had just seen a miracle. I would have never believed my husband would go with us, not even following behind in another truck.
Once downtown, we spotted our first homeless man, sitting up against a dumpy little building. He looked cold, tired and very old, although I doubt he was even fifty. As I pulled up along the curb, Bob close behind with the kids, Amy leaned out the window and offered the man lunch. He slowly stood and walked over to the car. Taking the bag from Amy’s hand he simply said, “Thank You and God Bless You.” This scene would be played out twenty-eight more times, with each person accepting a lunch, then thanking and blessing us. It was quite humbling to say the least.
When we were down to the last five bags, we saw a group of five men with as many dogs, standing on one of the corners. I drove over to them and Amy offered the last lunches, which they quickly accepted. We had also brought small bags of dog food and offered those as well. I did not expect the response we got. One of the men, obviously the “owner” of the dogs, was absolutely teary-eyed that we had food for his pets. He took the bags from me and hugged them tightly to his chest as if he had received some great and valuable gift. My heart stuck in my throat as I felt the tears well up in my eyes.
Finished with the lunches, we drove a few blocks over to the City Rescue Mission, where we were dropping off jackets, jeans and sweaters. As I pulled into an empty space in the parking lot, Bob pulled in beside me. Jumping out of my car, I ran over to Bob’s truck to let him know I would only be a minute. As I opened his truck door, I was stunned to see my husband crying behind the wheel. I have never loved him more than at that moment.
Later that evening, as Bob and I talked and cried over the days events, I asked him two questions; Did he still think I was crazy and would he be willing to do this again sometime? He answered without hesitation,
“Yeah, I still think you're crazy but I also want our family to feed the homeless twice a month. That’s church, Marla.”
Yep, takes one to know one!
The greatest man I know holding our youngest grandson.
The infamous lunches
We realized later, bananas might have been a better choice, considering the lack of teeth we saw. Sorry Homeless People. We'll know better next time. :-)