Sure You Can Have That Bear Claw!

I pulled into the dirt parking lot at 6:40 a.m. The sun was beginning to knock the remaining chill out of the air, and I was questioning my choice of a sweater. But who can really make clothing decisions at 6:00 a.m.? I looked around warily, not because I feared my surroundings but because I loathed the idea of wandering around until I found my exact volunteering destination. The volunteer center is a big place, and I had experienced being left there with no direction before. Intimidating, daunting and not what I had in mind for my bright and early Thursday morning experience.

I encountered B, a friendly Jesus-loving type I had met at volunteer orientation a few weeks before, in the parking lot looking about as lost as I felt. It took us several tries to find the place where we needed to set up our morning food distribution. Frustration was kicking in, for me at least. I like to get things moving quickly in the mornings… otherwise, I begin to ponder my pillow and question how many sheep may have gotten lost after I stopped counting them. So, yeah, brisk movement is best.

We finally got where we needed to be, located supplies and set up the pastries. I cringed at giving pastries to the homeless folks. I know it is food. But I also know what sweets do to my empty stomach–it isn’t pretty. But, I have to admit, they were hyped. People would walk in, look at all the choices (we had bear claws, cinnamon rolls, cherry danish, turnovers, donuts, donut holes, cookies, macaroons, brownies, lemon filled pastries, pound cake, banana bread, cheese danish…) and beam. I teased a few of them about eating banana bread to get in a fruit serving for the day. One guy told me about the pound cake his mama used to make. Two guys wandered back in, looking sheepish–they had to give away their danish with pecans because you can’t eat nuts if you ain’t got teeth. Indeed.

It was only when one man reached out and touched my hand to ask my name that I really got it. I looked at him and realized that no one had asked me my name all morning. As I thanked him for caring who I was, I wondered if anyone ever bothers to ask his name.

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