I feel so bad

Last Thursday Amanda Rademaekers packed her car and drove our collection of diapers to Feast of Justice, housed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mayfair.  You may recall that we reported that the total collected was 

4,824 diapers!  Great job everyone. Now for total transparency…the last four boxes of diapers did not fit into Amanda’s car even though we tried to squeeze them in. 

This morning Chris and I drove back to Feast of Justice to deliver the last four boxes. (Only 3 fit in my trunk, Chris held the 4th on her lap). As we approached we saw a line that went down one block and around the corner. These were hard working people who appeared to be mostly blue collar workers. It is likely that this is the first time in their lives that they had to ask for help to feed their families. 

We took the boxes in and once we got back into the car we sat in silence for a moment. We watched as the line moved and people were permitted one or two at a time to come in and pick up a bag of groceries. Chris turned to me and said: “It’s one thing to see this on tv, but seeing this first hand is almost unbearable.” Suddenly her tears began to flow as she said, “I feel so bad.” 

It was truly a humbling experience to see. We talked about frustration with long lines in the grocery store but at least we have money to buy what we want. We vowed not to complain about such things again. We decided time in those lines would be well spent praying for individuals at Feast of Justice and other sites around the country where people need help with food and personal supplies. 

What mother expects not to be able to provide diapers for her baby? What father who works two or three jobs in order to provide for his family expects to need to stand in line at a food pantry?  How does one decide between staying home and staying safe for their own sake as well as the sake of others or going out and trying to find work to feed their children? 

We have all been caught off guard with this pandemic and to date there is no definite end in site. Please pray for those who are struggling most and again, if you need assistance contact me. Help is available. 

Let us pray: 

Merciful God, hear the cries of your people and send willing workers to help alleviate the desperate need across the nation and world. Keep us mindful of the abundance we have and give us a spirit of generosity that guides us to reach out on behalf of others. Calm the fears and frustrations of all as we deal with the changes that this pandemic has caused. Preserve your people from bitterness and fault finding. Sustain and strengthen volunteers and help us to  seek ways to support local businesses and those who have lost their income.  Finally, we ask that you keep us from self-centered worry that instead we might trust in your redeeming love and promise to be with us always; through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.

The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier