• Caren

where you gonna go? salvation is here.

8/10/08

Perfect Tuna Fish Sandwich Recipe

1 serving tuna 1 blob mayonnaise 1 blob yellow mustard 2 scoops relish healthy dash of garlic powder 2 slices bread

1. combine first five ingredients 2. dollop onto one slice of bread 3. top off with second slice of bread 4. stick the sammich in a ziploc bag 5. give the whole thing to someone who needs it. add a listening ear, an open mind, and some of your precious time.

serves more than hunger may interfere with your life (also guaranteed to cause some kickin' breath. may require several cups of iced tea to neutralize)

i had been terrified to find someone to talk to. they let us off the van and told us to go make conversation with the homeless people waiting for their dinner. maggie and i wandered uncomfortably, brainstorming opening lines that sounded strangely like pickup lines: "so, i see you're wearing blue. i also like blue." "i see that you are about to enjoy a delicious dinner. my mother made it." yes, lies, but desparation drives us to it.

it's the first word that requires the most courage. painfully, fearfully shy, but somehow i was talking to allen, a very young looking black man who had spent time in prison for assault and had been living on the streets for 25 of his 40-something years.

i don't know why God asks us to do these things. i don't know why it is so hard to do them.

fingers still greasy from mayonnaise, sitting on the hard dirt, i looked up to see teenagers talking face to face with the homeless, standing in illuminated lamplight circles. myself feeling tongue-tied. thankfully, allen had much to say. and at a point in that conversation, he stopped and said, "i've never met anybody like you. anyone else would have been gone by now, but there you are, still listening." he must have known that i had nowhere to go, and that i had to wait for the group to leave. did he sense that, were it up to me, i would have handed him the sandwich and fled immediately? but he thanked me anyway.

we did a lot of stuff this past week. i know that missions trips can be concentrated, delusional spurts of spirituality. which is why i tend to avoid them. but i am constantly proven wrong.

there are times when a glimmer of light, of sense, finally appears. it's brief. but it's there. and the memory of it is almost as good as the real thing.