Thursday, January 08, 2009

Times Gettin' Tougher Than Tough

The Christ of the Bread Line by Fritz Eichenberg

A stranger called the other day asking to drop off food donations. Surprisingly, she said that her husband had just been laid off. I advised her that maybe they may need the food themselves in the upcoming weeks! She understood, but said they were doing fine for now and felt no need to hold onto things when others may need them more.

This got me thinking. It can be prudent to save, but how much is too much? This woman was manifesting a true Catholic Worker spirit by trusting in God's grace enough to let go of what she had. There was no guarantee that she herself wouldn't end up at soup kitchen, but she was being faithful. God may not reward you by making it easy, but being faithful means that you trust in God to work it out somehow, someway, somewhere down the line.

One of the “downsides” (if you can call it that) of the former convent is that we need very little. Having maintained my own household for several years, I brought boxes of silverware, pots & pans, you name it. We have tried to utilize our own possessions for general use whenever possible, but sometimes it is just unnecessary. We don’t need 2 crock pots, 2 microwaves, etc.

Should I hold onto it for a rainy day? Might we need it in the future? God has blessed the earth with many resources, and I feel like an irresponsible steward to hold onto so many things when others may need them more. I started piling this stuff in the main storage room on the first floor. Perhaps it can be the beginnings of a “free store” at the Catholic Worker.

Like the Van Morrison song goes, "times gettin' tougher than tough." Shelters and food pantries are feeling the pinch. The woman was right: Now is the time to give.

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