As I sat this morning preparing for this third Sunday of the season of Advent. The word of the day was joy. I began to think of all the things to which I was joyous and of course the usual came to mind, family, friends, life. Then I remembered the opportunities to do small things like buying paper towels and toilet paper. Yes, I know it seems crazy but for many such items are luxuries. The consumers of St. Mary’s food cupboard occasionally ask to use the bathroom and occasionally upon the close of distribution, items go missing. You guessed it! Toilet paper, paper towels and even the pump hand soap. I was quite dismayed and disappointed because if they would ask, we would gladly give it to them. Yet, I’ve never had to ask for those kinds of things and I realized that if a person is in real need, how difficult it might be to have to ask for such personal items. On the night when Jesus was handed over to authorities, he reminded the apostles that “The Kings of the Gentiles lord it over them… But not so with you; rather… you must become like the one who serves. (Luke 22:14-30)“ In my menial “authority” over the situation, what right do I have to expect what could be embarrassing or humiliating for someone to ask for necessary things, which for St. Mary’s, are often donated. I thought of many solutions to what I thought was the problem, that being people taking things. In reality the problem is simply that people are in need. I believe that most know that they only have to ask, and I also know that in this situation it’s not necessary, nor am I called, to expect them to oblige. Let us focus on the joy in the opportunity to provide necessary things, and for God’s grace as we strive to encourage God’s kingdom and not our own, with every situation including paper towels and toilet paper.
Image: Google – Bill Plotkin