Be Our Guest
This past week, I’ve had so much fun staying with my oldest sister G. in Boston, who lives in a community house with six other fabulous people. I suppose this living arrangement is much like how I’m going to be living: in a Mayfield Lodge with nine other fabulous people. Hopefully we’ll get along just as well as they do: they help each other with the dishes, cook and share foods with each other, clean up, and work together on our project, which involves performing for the Vanderbilt medical centers, like a team… like a family!
G. lives literally around the corner from her workplace; it takes maybe three steps to cross from the back door to Starlight Ministries, a branch of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, which helps those struggling with homelessness.
On Thursday, we got to pass out toiletries, present choices of clothes they requested (for example, “Which of these short-sleeved shirts would you rather have: a plain red one, or an awesome Hawaiian highlighter shirt?” Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince anyone of the latter option), feed them a small snack, allow them to take a ten-minute shower, ask if they had any prayer requests, and just talk to them and get to know them as people.
Sometimes, we forget that the huddled mass covered by dirty rags we see on the street is just
another human being in a less fortunate situation. I haltingly began a conversation with one man named D. and it was really awkward. But after we talked about neutral subjects like sports and Boston and the South, he slowly began to open up about his struggles with finding a job, with raising his one-year-old son, and other subjects that were burdening him.
I think that another Inside ‘Dores blogger summed up how I felt quite nicely… about how it is such a joy to be able to speak encouragement to other people, and to gain ideas about social change for the betterment of all!
A quick list of other fun things I’ve done in Boston: went “kayaking,” which was an adventure which had nothing to do with kayaking because we didn’t think we had enough muscles to pull back to shore on the windy lake and instead involved picnicking near a Porta-Potty, jumping into a box of huge teddy bears at Costco, and visiting a friend’s adorable baby; making a super sketch but surprisingly delicious blueberry vegan “cheese”cake which didn’t involve cheese; and visiting Chinatown at night to drink delicious boba and munch on savory dumplings.
Oh… and practicing for France!