Today at St. Thomas, we learned that God sometimes answers prayers in the literal sense of the word. It seems that our office manager is one of several people who volunteers for a local bakery each day to take any extra bread to those in need. As I have mentioned in other posts, snow can really freak out southerners, causing them to buy massive quantities of milk and bread before heading for home to avoid the poor road conditions. Yesterday two things happened. The snow did not apparently lead to buying more bread, at least at this particular bakery. It did, however, keep all but one bakery volunteer (our office manager) from picking up extra bread for the needy. Not to be deterred in her mission to avoid food being wasted or to provide help to those in need, Karen loaded up her car with all the leftovers, thus turning our office workroom into what looked like the Biblical scene of the multiplication of the loaves. Every inch of our table as well as much of the floor was covered with boxes and bags of bread.
Fortunately St. Thomas is an active parish, where people are constantly coming and going. Our receptionist began this morning by giving bread to one of our families who can always use more food. I spotted one of our deacons who grabbed a large bag and headed out to deliver bread to more of our families who are in need. Karen made a bag of bread and pastries to send home with one of our cleaning ladies. Several of our ministers to the homebound stopped by and wrapped up bread to deliver to all those they will visit today. Our youth minister, Melanie, and I spent much of the morning packaging bread to be delivered to even more families. She then called upon her husband to pick up a large box for delivery. At this point in the day we have given away about half the bread. I hope that all of it will have found a home by the time the office closes this afternoon.
It continues to impress me that our parish has so many parishioners who are serious in their desire to live as Christians. Every person who has walked through the door today has been involved in making sure that our windfall of bread will not go to waste, but will make it’s way to those who are in need of food. There has also been a real sense of joy present in the office today, as people have plotted together how we can give away bread. It has been the sort of day that can lift one’s spirit to more easily face the difficult days that come along.