Original Entry Date: April 29, 2017
Written by: Jonathan Stufft

As the point person for a community of people who are all seniors or have some sort of physical impairment...

the building manager reached out to Matthew 25 Outreach Center with a phone call when she heard we were doing a special produce distribution as part of the Minority Health Fair in Mansfield.

Originally, we had planned to NOT do deliveries for this event because we knew the quantity of produce we were scheduled to receive was much lower than a typical distribution, and this was a special event that we wanted to be present on-site for the entire time. However, when the need for food calls, we answer. We decided to get sorting done early and send out boxes to the 22 residents prior to the opening of the event.

When we arrived at the building, we were greeted by several residents. We made plans for placing the food in the lobby and began moving it in out of the rain. We made short work of the drop, but as we were walking out, we were stopped by Cheryl.

A resident of the building, Cheryl had limited mobility, and looked to require the regular use of a walker. She thanked us for coming, and as we started to say a quick goodbye, she stopped us by putting up her hands. They were not reaching out for a handshake, and they were not postured in a gesture to inform us to “stop,” but rather somewhere in between.

I looked down at her hands, outstretched, not stopping, but not reaching, and heard her say, “Not yet.”

In a short moment, I recognized the gesture of her hands to be one asking us to hold them. She reached to the three of us, wet from rain, a little messy with strawberry juice and pieces of cabbage leaves, and I knew she wanted to pray.

“You want to pray with us?” I asked. She didn’t answer with words, but a simple nod of her head, and the glistening of tears filling her eyes, confirmed it.

We joined hands, bowed our heads, and in that moment, when we thought we were helping others on a rainy, dreary day, we were the ones blessed.

I can’t recall every word, but I vividly remember this, “…thank you God for these people and the blessings they have shared with us today that we needed so much. Bless them. Bless their ministry. Lord, watch over them today… from the tops of their heads, to the tips of their toes… and protect their vehicles with a thousand-foot circle of safety as they travel today…”

Soaked clear through from seven hours in the pouring rain that day, we felt nothing but blessed.