Last Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to try something new. We were looking for ways to reach out to our community and stumbled upon a place that was preparing a Thanksgiving meal for those in need. It was a day I will never forget.
We live in an area that looks like it has more land than people. But my eyes were opened to the need that even this small patch of the United States has. After heaping Thanksgiving favorites onto plates, the volunteers were given stations to hand out food. Much to my liking, we were stationed at the desert table.
We stood in front of the dozens of pies, cookies, and cakes with the anticipation that people would be flooding in at any moment. Minutes flew by and before we knew it we were helping people make the decision between apple pie and pumpkin pie.
Once everyone picked a couple desserts, they would find a seat in the large auditorium to enjoy their meal. But every so often we would see the same people come back in line. We would watch as they nonchalantly walk up to the array of baked goods and ponder over what to try next. Then there were others who would stuff a few extras in their bag and look at us with a mischievous smile.
But I couldn’t help but wonder the story behind each face. The hurt that each one carried but tried to conceal. The broken families, betrayed hearts, and lost faith. Some of them were more open than others. They wanted someone to listen to them, to hear their story. People from all different walks of life came through that line, and it made me wonder, how often do I notice?
How often do I notice the hurting people around me? How often am I willing to offer a smile to the stranger I pass at the store?
It made me think about all the lives in need of hope. As we take time to praise God for the many blessings He has given us, let us remember to reach out and bless others. Even something as simple as a smile or a listening ear.