Connecting with Community

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Heels

The thought of what to wear wakes me in the mornings. I wake and preform my morning rituals. Before I step out to take on the world. I slip into my choice of heels. What an energizing moment.
I stand in the mirror and tilt my feet just so. Today's choice, a closed toe black suede leather 2 inch heel.

Happy as a lark, I drop off my children at school. I go over my day in my head. First I go to pick up
a small hand made blanket that a Life Changer has donated to a hurting child. I take care of a weeks worth of errands before I head to the office.

It is after 2:00 before my heels and I make it in. I park in my usual spot. Headed towards the front door ,I smile as I hear click clack click clack, the sound of my heels on payment.  Finally in my office, only to find many emails and missed phone calls. It doesn't take long before I am scrambling to connect
Neighbors to resources. Hours go by and I am frustrated. I decide the villain here is Poverty.
I am tired of him succeeding with these families. I am just plain tired and Poverty doesn't care. 
Poverty doesn't  take a break.

Today I worked with Pearl, a young mother of  three with the fourth one on the way. She is homeless tonight. Her seven year old had a breakdown at school today. He doesn't understand why he can't go home.
I don't understand why so many can't go home.
Sis is also a mother of  three with the fourth one on the way. Sis was layed off due to lack of business.
Sis is looking for work so she can help her husband pay rent. They don't want to be homeless.
She is 7 months pregnant and no one will hire her. She is struggling. She needs food.
The need is great. The holidays are near and more  people are giving.
I have a load of food that still needs to be delivered to our small food pantry.
I just can't seem to find the time.Today there will be time.

It is after 5:00 and I head to the food pantry, in hopes of delivering this food today.
I call Missy to see if she can meet me there.
I arrive to drop off  my cargo of food and still frustrated that Poverty will not give me a break.
I am bothered at the thought of having to remove my heels. I convince myself that it will be much easier to unload if I am wearing flats.
This puts me in the most unpleasant mood. I begrudgingly get out of my car. I look up only to 
see a suspicious character. I mumble, "I hope he is not headed my way."
I glare in his direction and notice that he is walking towards me. 
I inhale with aggravation because he seems to be up to no good.
I am barely 5'4 and weigh 100 and something pounds. It is now after 5:30 
and this momma is not in the mood. I have to unload this food in flats and I don't have much
time. My 9 year old is waiting to be picked up from church.
He looks my way and I can feel my eyes telling my thoughts.
The neighborhood is silent and no cars in sight.
The sun is now setting and  for a moment I realize that I shouldn't be so bold.
That moment doesn't last long.
I should feel fear or even a bit apprehensive at my choice of posture but
I don't. My bad mood won't allow it. My eyes are focused on him. He doesn't smile
and neither do I.
I glance at my feet only to gain reassurance from my heels.
I am not bothered in the least  that he is twice my size.
I become defensive at the thought that he may want to take my food.
I have students that need this food. I have these two expecting mothers that need
this food. He can not have my food.
God himself must of been standing behind me because the gentleman
decides to cross the street. I mumble, "keep walking." 
I watch as he crosses the street and he no longer looks my way.
Disgusted at the thought of someone looking in the direction of my food.
I decide its time to take my heels off and switch to a more practical shoe. If only while
I unload. I begin to gather the food from my broken hatch. I walk up the side walk of this
small house that serves as a food pantry. My heart is warmed as I lay my first load of food
on the porch.
Walking back to my car to retrieve more food, I notice neighbors watching.
I see children peeking out their windows. My mood begins to change. I am now
overcome with grief, because I know their story. The children's momma is a drug addict and leaves
them often. They are cared for by neighbors and they only eat what this pantry provides.
 I have so little to offer.

I keep unloading but I can no longer hold back the tears. My grief takes over and
I stop to sit in my car. I will wait for Missy to arrive and while I wait I will I pray for the children and the neighborhood.

No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.
George Chakiris


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