Thursday, February 5, 2015

Reflections on Making Sandwiches

When Charles worked at Andre House, I became the Sandwich Girl.

Each night, four "guests" (those we served) volunteered to sweep the parking lot/gathering space outside of The Building (yes, that was the main structure's "name"). In exchange, they got to be the first four people served and received a sack lunch, presumably for the next day. Some days, it was a popular job, and the volunteers were selected by lottery. Other days, only one or two people were up for the task.

As the Sandwich Girl, my job was to make those sack lunches. Because Charles' night to run soup line was Thursday, and Andre House does not serve dinner on Fridays, I felt that pouring my love into those lunches was of utmost importance. Two sandwiches (one meat, one peanut butter), a piece of fruit (the best-looking I could find among the food bank produce), some snacks, something sweet, 2 bottles of water. Once a week I would line up the bread, 8 slices at a time, and made sandwiches, assembly-line style. Very often, I reflected on how this was, hopefully, preparing me for my vocation as mother.

At the time, I envisioned some point in the still-distant future when I was packing lunches for my kids to take to school. Lining up the stuff they should eat (the sandwich and fruit) with the stuff they would eat (the snacks and sweets).

Last weekend, I found myself, for the first time in a long time, with the stuff lined up to make four peanut butter sandwiches. One for each member of my little family.

My time has come.

And it was interesting, because, even though each one was made with extra customization, fitting the needs of each member of the family, the love was the same.

It's beautiful, really, how God prepared my heart for making lunches. I know plenty of moms feel dread when noon strikes and the charges decide that they need lunch now. 5 minutes ago, preferably. Believe me, I've been there, too. But there are also moments when I'm prepared or when the natives are a bit less restless or I take a moment to breathe and reflect. At those moments, I feel that love. I feel so blessed to be able to do something as simple -- nay, as important -- as making sandwiches for my family.

Yes, I'm blessed to have the means to make lunch. Food security is an important blessing that I don't give thanks for nearly often enough. But it goes beyond that.

You see, God called us, with great clarity, to feed "the least of these brothers of mine." He didn't leave much room for interpretation. At Andre House, in my kitchen, at the place of some future calling, when I make sandwiches, I feed the hungry. When I feed the hungry, I feed Christ. And when I feed Christ, He gives me more than mere food. He gives me the stuff of life.

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