Yesterday, Ruth, my wife, did her weekly shift with the lunch program at Bridge St. United Church here in Belleville. She has missed perhaps three or four Monday's in the past year and is part of a wonderful group of committed volunteers who were there even when there were no vaccines. During the 20 months of the pandemic this program has offered nutritious lunches every single day, including holidays such as Christmas and Easter with the average currently at about 100 guests per day.
The temptation would be to consider this to be a grim reminder of the inequities of our society with the sad stories of those who ae reduced to standing in line for a meal to make ends meet. Yet Ruth speaks regularly of the folk who express gratitude every time, and who engage in snippets of friendly conversation. They far outnumber the handful of grumps and those whose mental health of substance abuse issues cause them to be a little unpredictable.
She also shares with me the moments of humour. Some of the guests are fun-loving and funny. Yesterday a guy who regularly sings in line got to the table with the three volunteers and launched into King of the Road, the 1960's hit by Roger Miller. He sang the first line and pointed at the women who to his surprise knew the words and sang the next line. They made their way through the first couple of verses of the song together, then he was on his way with a sandwich and soup.
Jesus was remarkable during his ministry in that he put aside dogma and doctrine to be present to those who approached him with many needs in body, mind and spirit. And, yes, he had a sense of humour -- think about the camel going through the eye of an needle. We are in this human endeavour together, and both music and a chuckle can be part of the spiritual journey.
Rooms to let, 50 cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes