Fellow travelers
Monday December 11th 2017, 12:00 am
Filed under: Life

A plea was sent to our church from another one for help filling the requests of some recent refugees. There is a local drop-off point.

Reading through the items, so many of them so basic, reminded me of one of the Sonoma fire survivors describing being at the store in a daze: he needed nothing. He needed everything.

It is sobering how a list like that makes one realize just how much we have.

Usually one sees requests for money as the most effective way of getting people what they want (not to mention the autonomy of being allowed to make choices despite their poverty), but in this case they’d put out into the world what specifics they felt would be most helpful in their personal circumstances. The age and gender of each recipient was listed.

That pea coat that never quite was right on me color-wise and simply sat there unworn–it could warm someone who’s actually cold, and it was in the size requested. Those cotton sheets on closeout we never opened because they turned out not to be deep enough for the mattress–they’re brand new and could offer someone else a good night’s sleep. That boiled-wool sweater, unworn but too good for Goodwilling it and risking its going into a landfill. Someone could love it just as much as I’d once hoped I would. Stuff that was just stuff to us was actually needed just as much as we needed someone who would actually want it and here was a rare chance to know where to bring it.

When, really, one wants to simply throw the doors open and say take whatever you need and then let’s sit down to dinner together (teach me how to cook like you!) to celebrate our good fortune that we’ve found each other.

To life!

3 Comments so far
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Posts like this just make me smile big smiles! So much of what many of us have is never used despite our good initial intentions. To be able to actually have these things be of use to someone else is an overwhelming gift!

Comment by chris 12.11.17 @ 6:30 am

To life indeed!

And to people who pay attention to the needs of others.

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 12.11.17 @ 6:39 am

thank you for doing this! It is great to realize how much we have, and how much we can give without really noticing it is gone…You cannot imagine how many bags of clothes we gave away when the Syrian refugees were coming to Canada in the thousands–we felt relieved to empty out some of the basement! Then, honestly, knowing they were warm with the extra, too small, parkas and snow pants…made all the difference.

Comment by Joanne 12.11.17 @ 1:02 pm

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