By Kristie Woods
The little guy with potato salad all over his face got me. He grabbed my heart and he has a part of it now. His tiny hands and satisfied face drew me in as I gave his family a warm, damp towel to clean him up after dinner. He reached out to me and I can’t let go. He’s comfortable here. His mom and big brother are comfortable here. They come for a meal and leave feeling full and loved.
We celebrated what were some of his first steps as he staggered across the dining room to me. His mom seemed surprised to see him overcoming his shyness. His brother was amazed as he tried to utter something. “He doesn’t go to many people. He doesn’t say much and he doesn’t walk much.”, his mom said. “Yet…”, I told her, “…but he will!”
Just like our timid toddler, our men come to us not saying much, not doing much…yet…but they will! That’s why when they reach out to us, we can’t let go. They come needing fed, needing shelter, needing to feel loved and when they begin feeling comfortable, when their bellies are full and they feel safe, they take those small steps that lead to bigger things. They learn the Word of God and start speaking it with others. We encourage and celebrate their milestones. They claim a spot in our hearts and we can’t let go.
Because of the gifts that make building relations possible, food, clothing, money for day to day operations, caring volunteers and dedicated staff, we can witness perseverance that leads to success. It begins with an open door, an open seat at the table, and an open heart. I look forward to breaking ground on the new building so we can open those doors and have more open seats at the table thanks to so many open hearts that won’t let go.
Blessed by Potato Salad,
Director of Community Relations