“Earl” (named changed to protect his privacy) visited the soup kitchen on the day I volunteered to prep and serve food. Trays are counted to track the number of hungry folks who came through for a fresh, hot meal. Some come through the line for another serving or two, because they may not have another meal until the next day or longer, if they are just passing through town. Earl has been coming in routinely for a few months. He is friendly, full of conversation, and shares his smile and gratitude with everyone he meets. Earl reminded me that joy is found within, and that joy can be contagious when freely shared with others…no matter the current status of doing with or doing without. Joy can be shared within a few moments of going through a line.
This time of year brings the meaning of the holidays into focus. It is the time to reflect, feel and show gratitude, and enjoy traditions of the season’s best. However, this joyous season is not always a happy time for others, and can be a matter of survival for those needing shelter, warmth, food, and other necessities.