On Thursday (September 24, 2015), Pope Francis dined with the homeless in Washington, D.C. Given his background and the emphasis his papacy has placed on the poor and vulnerable this is not surprising. I have no doubt that those he dined with were blessed. But because of a recent experience, I also suspect that he was blessed as well. Last night I went over to the Salina Rescue Mission with Tim Johnson, Harvey Bailey, and Raneta Hargrove. After we had helped prepare the evening meal and the next days sack lunches, Tim Johnson led prayers and delivered a short message. We then served the residents supper and helped ourselves to what they were having (meatloaf, scalloped potatoes and corn).
In echoing Jesus’ call for the hungry to be fed, the thirsty to be given something to drink, the naked to be clothed, and shelter and refuge given to the homeless, Pope Francis has sometimes been seen as unrealistic. Well, last night I had an experience that reinforced my tendency to disagree with that criticism. Out of God’s bounty, there was enough for everyone present. As a bonus, I experienced the entire evening as a providential means of grace in which I drew near to God, and God drew near to me.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in serving at the Salina Rescue Mission in the future.