Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Lesson in Humility

I've stated before that I love volunteering.  I don't, however, love waking up early.  After hearing the request to have breakfast ready for over a dozen homeless guests by 5 AM on a cold, Tuesday morning, I begrudgingly said yes.  I knew I'd be back home before Jesse had to leave for work, so I had no excuse not to do it.  (Of course, if I really didn't want to I wouldn't have volunteered.)

Since our bank accounts aren't exactly growing these days, I planned to feed the masses with the uber cheap French toast and sausage.  I was informed by the director that the guests would prefer to sleep in.  Therefore, I should have a warm breakfast bagged up so they could eat it in the van.  Changing my plans to a to-go breakfast added a lot of expenses that I hadn't originally budgeted for.  (i.e. A gallon of juice is much cheaper than individual juices.  I couldn't just throw French toast in a bag, so I had to figure out how to package it.)

I adjusted my plans to create a bagged breakfast that included apple juice, a banana, Gogurt, and a sandwich (a maple sausage patty between two pieces of French toast).  Jackson helped me assemble the bags and place a juice and banana in each bag Monday afternoon.

I quadrupled this recipe and placed the mixture in the fridge so I would simply have to dip the bread in and throw it on the griddle.  (Again, not a morning person!)  My kitchen counter looked like this by 4:30 a.m.

When I arrived (on time), I was expecting to see guests waking up and beginning to get ready for the day. Instead, I walked into a clean gym with fully dressed people sitting at tables.  I handed everyone their bags and greeted people warmly.  While making small talk with a few people, a woman approached me.  We had the following conversation:
Woman: You ain't got no syrup?
Me: No ma'am (Of course, in my head I wanted to say "I would have brought bottles of syrup, cooked breakfast here, and dusted the toast with powdered sugar had I been better informed.")
Woman: Jesus Christ, who eats French toast without syrup?
Me: Well, there's maple syrup in the sausage.
Woman (rolls eyes): Thanks a lot, bitch.
Me: silence.  I feel about 6 inches tall.

Her comments had me irritated the whole ride home.  I couldn't believe she had been so ungrateful.

Once home, I told Jesse about the experience.  He initially had the same reaction, but then said, "I guess it's hard to be gracious when it's 9° outside."  I instantly felt 6 inches tall again, stumbling down from my high horse.  Was I expecting her to bow down in gratitude?  Afterall, I would have wanted syrup, too.  Yet I was the one who got in my car, drove home, and crawled under the thick comforter on my king size bed in hopes to get another hour of sleep before the kids woke up.  And she was the ungrateful one?
. . .

And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
-Matthew 23:12

Heavenly Father,
I do not know why I was blessed with a warm home full of food and family while others spend their days cold and hungry.  I confess that I take these blessings for granted, and am too often proud.  Forgive me, Father.  I pray that you will continue to bless me so that I may be a blessing to others.  Fill my heart with humility and gratitude.

1 comment:

  1. For the one that was ungrateful, there were plenty that were grateful and one of those people would be me....thank you sweet Bonnie for being so compassionate and walking away when someone else would have blasted her right back, thank you for teaching Jackson to be compassionate <3 I'm so very proud of you!