Every Friday morning before the sun comes up my husband slaps at the alarm, and then rolls over and sits on the edge of the bed until he can focus.
By six o’clock he is at the church cutting up fruit, or beginning to make eggs, French toast, fried rice, soup, potatoes or whatever else was donated or bought that week.
By eight a crowd has formed on the patio, and a line begins to form. By nine o’clock the doors are open and the serving starts.
Each Friday, over one hundred people are served.
If they have enough people to serve the peanut butter, cheese, donuts, juice, coffee, soup, and the main dish, one of the people that work there will ask my husband to watch the line.
My husband is good at watching the line which entails keeping guests from cutting in front of each other or from fighting.
Many of the guests are mentally ill and off their medication. It is not unusual for someone to talk to voices, make hand gestures, and talk in a threatening manner. It is also not unusual for someone to be paranoid and fearful of everyone standing around them. If there is an argument or disagreement, my husband gets between the guests and encourages them to step back and give each other room.
My husband’s profession is as an architect, but cooking for and serving the homeless is his calling. He goes when it rains. He goes when we have plans that day. He goes when he is tired. The only time he doesn’t go is when we are out of town, and he tries not to be out of town on Friday mornings. In fact, we postpone leaving for many trips until after he is finished with his volunteer work.
I am amazed at my husband’s commitment. But there is something I know that most people don’t. Many times people who serve the poor say that they see the face of Christ in the people they are serving. My husband, doesn’t see Christ, he sees his wife. He sees the woman he loves and married.
If my husband wasn’t smart enough to track my credit cards all the times I have been psychotic and ran away from home, he knows, that I could very well have ended up here, on the street, without medication, talking to voices, and relying on the kindness and heart of strangers to make me breakfast.