I’m seriously thinking of locking myself in my house in the country, turning off the TV and the Internet and just going into “hermit-mode” until sanity returns. The problem is, I’m not sure if I can live long enough to see things turn around.
Am I depressed? Not clinically, but I’m certainly sad. Sad at what I see in the papers, on the news and in people’s Facebook feeds. For instance, a quick scan of the news today shows…
Same-Sex marriage is taking off all over the world
The Toronto School Board wants to teach that any form of consensual sex is okay — to kids!!!
The #1 movie this week will no doubt be a porn flick disguised as a the “perfect Valentines Day” chick flick
People are shooting other people over petty matters like parking spots
People are caring more about trees and seals and puppies than they are about other human beings
Politicians won’t let anyone talk about God outside the church building
The mainline churches have forgotten about God
Morals seem to have gone out the window with nothing being absolute anymore
The fourth and fifth estates (journalists and the media) have forgotten all about the concept of unbiased reporting
Terrorists are shooting, beheading and burning people right, left and centre
Politicians seem more interested in “playing politics” and lining their pockets than serving the people
Wars are going on all over the world — Russia/Ukraine; Afghanistan/Iran/Iraq; Israel/Palestine/Lebanon; to name just a few
Science has forgotten about “scientific method” and prefers to “make the data fit”
I could probably go on (and on and on) but I think you get the point.
Years ago, we had a series of posters in my parent’s basement. They were the 60’s equivalent of the modern meme’s. The one that I remember best haunts me to this very day….
Common sense is not so common.
For sure I’m not “depressed”. Maybe it’s just “S.A.D.” (Seasonal Affective Disorder) But for sure, it saddens me.
Today marked the end of our church’s 2nd year of involvement with Out of the Cold. Out of the Cold is a program where a church, synagogue or other facility, give shelter to some homeless guests overnight, feed them dinner and breakfast and help them on their way for the day with a bag lunch. It’s a safe, loving way to care for the guests and do something practical for their needs on cold winter nights.
Last year I was only able to help out 1 night with the “entertainment” (playing guitar and singing with two of my kids) while my wife participated a number of other evenings. This year I dove in with both feet and ended up ‘working’ 10 of the 11 weeks (I missed one because I was sick ).
We’d originally signed up for the of the Monday evening shifts — hospitality, registration and dish-washing — but ended up doing a few breakfast shifts on Tuesday mornings. We loved the breakfast fun so much (and they were having trouble finding people to work at the church from 5:00am to 7:30am) that we ended up switching to breakfasts for 9 of the 11 weeks!!
Now, with today being the last breakfast, I’m already starting to miss it a bit. I’m sure I’m going to miss getting up early on Tuesday mornings and help out making wonderful breakfasts — bacon, eggs (scrambled & fried), pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, cereal, coffee & juice — and enjoying the fun of getting together with 4 or 5 others to have fun a the same time.
So what have a learned?
Making breakfast for that many people is great fun!
Bacon doesn’t need to be cooked for 12 minutes per side at 425F (we found out the hard way the first week, that 5 minutes per side @ 352F is more than sufficient)!
People like variety, but most take the same thing week after week
Stores are amazingly generous!
You can improvise a lot of different meal options in a pinch (like whipping up french toast when the regular bread didn’t come in that week and all you had were french baguettes for toast which they didn’t eat).
Helping out and hearing stories is SO rewarding and satisfying!
I know it’s just a little bit that we do for them, but the guests are always so appreciative!
The guests stories are amazing, and sad. The unfortunately situations they find themselves in and usually heartbreaking. You want to do so much more!
It takes nearly a lot of people to run OOTC each week (around 65 to 70 each week!)
What a blessing it’s been to participate this year. I can only hope that my schedule next year will allow me to participate once again.
UPDATE: By the way, after I posted the above, I ran across this VERY interesting video of a social experiment around how we treat the seemingly homeless. Watch it! And think about how YOU would react.
[I have to admit, this was not my original recipe, but over the years I’ve ‘perfected’ it and made it my own.]
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I’ve been watching Facebook and I know some of you are stressing out about Christmas and noting that it’s their least favourite time of the year.
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