Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Those without

My heart for food has changed substantially over the past few weeks. I've been taught for years that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, but I always associated that fact with my Christian walk--I thought it was more about what I wore, what I said, how I carried myself, and so on and so forth. Lately, I've realized that I should also take into consideration what I am eating. My body is a gift and I need to take care of it.

But, God has also shown me something more. My eyes have been opened to the reality that I'm not the only person who should be worried about what is going into my body; I am not the only person whose body is a gift. We are all made in his image.

With Thanksgiving upon us, I can't help but think about food. With this being my first vegetarian holiday, I'm approaching the day with a bit of caution. My body is still adjusting to the change and I don't want to freak it out with a bunch of rich foods I've done without for so long.

But--what about those who are simply going without? What about those who aren't worried about explaining, for the tenth time, why they aren't eating turkey because their answer is--they are without a turkey. What about those people who don't have a place to call home, who don't have a family to invite them in, who don't get to sit around a table full of food that smells of Thanksgiving and welcomes everyone into the holiday season? What about those people?

I think it's amazing that we have a holiday that people associate with eating. Ask the average American their plans for the holiday and they will tell you where they are going and what they will be eating when they get there. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm guilty of doing just that. And, while I don't plan on overeating--like so many enjoy doing on Turkey Day--I will be indulging in time with family and a home cooked meal. I'm really looking forward to the tradition that I have come to expect from my family, but I can't help but wonder--what about the homeless? What are they doing tomorrow? Who is feeding them?

These are questions I wouldn't have asked last year, or the year before. But now? Now, not only am I more aware of my calling to do right and seek justice, I'm also more aware of the importance of food. I can't imagine going without it, ever--but, more specifically, on a day where everyone I know plans on eating until they can't eat anymore.  So, I looked for the answer to my question: who is feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving?

I was, actually, really disappointed with the information I found. Trying to see where people are volunteering to serve, on Thanksgiving, in my town, was like trying to find a scholarly source that is reliable enough to reference in a research paper using Google as your primary search engine. (Google is good for a lot of things, but not research papers...or holiday volunteer opportunities in Colorado, either, apparently.) I'm not sure if it's because most of the local non-profit organizations weren't advertising via the internet or if there really are very few ways to reach out to the homeless tomorrow--but I found one in the city that I reside, and a couple others in our state's capital.

Common sense and faith in humanity tells me that there are more people supporting the hungry on Thanksgiving, but I wish there were even more!

From what I know about people in need all over the world--which isn't anything to boast about--I'm willing to bet that my town could do so much more, even just in our town. Maybe next year, with a little more effort on my part, I won't just find one or two organizations who are only publicizing that they don't need any more volunteers; maybe next year, with a little more effort on my part, I'll find a dozen more opportunities to serve in my community; and maybe--just maybe--I'll be one of those people asking for volunteers.

In any case, allow me to give a shout out to the people who are making a difference in the lives of many tomorrow. Every little bit helps, and I'm so glad that there are people who have the heart and the means to honor those less fortunate.

The Open Door Mission is hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner in town for anyone who wants to attend. They are hoping that it will be a time for people in various situations to come together and break bread--what I believe this holiday should be all about.
The Denver Rescue Mission is delivering boxed dinners and serving a banquet dinner. I read that they had thousands of turkeys donated to the cause, which is awesome.
My favorite event that is going on is being hosted by Rock Bottom Brewery. They are inviting over a thousand people (homeless and displaced children and their families) to a dinner at the restaurant. They will be treated as guests and they will be served on tables decked out with silverware and china and tablecloths. I imagine that it will be great for everyone involved.

I hope this Thanksgiving finds you well and that you get the chance to enjoy the day with friends and family, and maybe even a few strangers who need a warm meal served with love.

That's all for now--Rosalyn

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