Community looks like...

Our incredible Sandy is on a well-deserved vacation. She celebrates the longevity of her marriage, a stability and consistency anyone might want to strive for. Her absence asks the rest of us to step up and do a little more. I wanted to tell a couple striking stories from the last two days that have me thinking about the meaning of community again.

On Tuesday, Sandy’s usual day to serve at Sunnyside, Pat made pulled pork for sandwhiches and I picked up the deliciousness from her house, steaming hot and ready at 12:30. By 12:45, I was parked and started unloading the car, quickly J and B dive into help carry crates tot he picnic table. Smiles and greetings, all amazed that pulled pork is on offer today. About a dozen people come through, we have plenty to offer seconds, for some thirds…”Oh I’m so full!” “That was amazing!” “You mean I can have another?” “Unbelieveable” were just a few quotes ringing in the air as we scoop onto buns and tell jokes. We are thankful for the sun.

There were lots of touching moments around the picnic table, some collective problem solving, a few bad jokes, and more happiness than frustration. As we were about to pack up, our friend P pulled some leather women’s winter gloves out of his bag. They are worn but beautiful. He looks across the table to I; they are both regulars at Sunnyside for years, but I don’t otherwise observe them as ‘friends’. P says sweetly, “I was thinking about you when I saw these on the corner. Do you think they will fit? Will you try them on?”

I. stands stunned. I am too. “For me?” she asks.

“If they fit,” P replies. I pulls the left one on, then the right. I am standing between them and see it’s a perfect fit. “They fit like a glove,” P exclaims. We all laugh. I starts to cry a little and is so full of thanks. I told P how nice it was of him and he shyly looked outward and said, “yeah…I like to put a thing or two together when I can.”

How thoughtful. How wonderful. How quintessentially defining this is of community…looking out for one another without any sense of needing payback or recompense. Helping people because they are people. Everybody is capable of it and everybody deserves it.