Posted by John Herrington on Friday, December 19, 2008
"Tis the season to be jolly..." These lyrics from a fine old Christmas song hang in our memories and provides us with a fun tune for the season. Yet there are many in our world, indeed in our country that find little reason to be jolly. A man in our neighborhood, without employment because of an injury to his shoulder requires a third major surgery within a few days. I took him downstairs to our church's food bank and "set him up" with enough groceries to do him for another couple of weeks. He "lives" alone in his old mobile home without running water because of frozen pipes and no gas because he cannot afford it. He has a good sleeping bag and a heart full of pride. Struggling to keep a little gas in his pickup truck and hauling water from the church faucets, he is going to make it, I believe, if he can go back to work soon. Remarkably, Kevin has kept the ability to feel a little joy in this Christmas season.
Thousands, yes, more like millions duplicate his condition, or are far worse off. We have been 10 to 20 degrees below zero here for a week in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Our little church gave out food to 35 families, yesterday, and will address the needs of dozens of others over the Christmas holidays. We have clothes and food for the cold and hungery...until the supplies run out, of course.
Now none of this is to put a damper on our own personal festivities, friends of BHO, but I sincerely pray that each of us will reach out to others in the spirit of the Savior, who said " I was sick and in prison and you visited me...naked and you clothed me, hungry and you fed me..." In explaining how this comes to be He said, "inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto me."
May everyone who strikes down or picksup, in any manner, in any style, on a five string banjo of any type or worth, rejoice together with me this wonderful Christmas. Just remember to wipe your hands off before picking up that marvelous instrument after eating the turkey. (On second thought, all of that grease might speed up the licks!) I am playing and singing "Joy to the World" on the Gold Tone for our Christmas program. Going to finish by singing the first verse again into the banjo head...talk about ringing the banjo!
Old John on the Big Horn
Friday, December 19, 2008 @10:33:11 PM
Amen to that, brother.
The Food Banks in my neck of the woods do such a good job of making sure people have food that one year the Food Stamp Program lost so many applicants that the feds cut their budget by $800,000.
They blamed it on too many church pantries working with Food Banks - people quit applying. The started a big marketing program, the theme of which was "Food Stamps is not part of welfare reform!".
THEY WERE TOTALLY SERIOUS!!!!
I love churches. They are the basis of one of the largest barely tapped anti-poverty resources in the country.
Saturday, December 20, 2008 @12:44:31 PM
I have to admit that if it wasn't for food pantries (although they were city run) when I was a kid we never would have ate. It was for the most part donations being redistributed. Which reminds me.... it's been awhile since I picked up some extra canned goods to throw into the food bank bin at the super-market. I give to Lazarus House (even though I am hardly religious, let alone Catholic) but the effect they have had in keeping people up and running has been tremendous. We donate clothing and toys there and it brings about a great sense of satistfaction.
I don't think just churches or just public run programs are the answer. I think everyone getting together and working together is the answer. I have always liked that quote from the bible however... just because someone is down on their luck doesn't mean they shouldn't be loved. We should always remember to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated.
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