A Volunteer Christmas

I want to live like a man we met today. I will call him “N” for the sake of anonymity. There was no answer at apartment #2 upon our first stop of the day. We delivered the other meals on our assigned route then came back and found N outside with his dog. “This is really great what you guys do”, he said. Oh, WE didn’t do anything beyond smiling and delivering already prepared meals to people very happy to receive them. We quite clearly gave all credit to Hope Ministries, Des Moines for the hard work that went into coordinating this effort! “I appreciate it,” N said. “I actually ordered this meal for one of my tenants.” Now he had my attention. “Tell me more about that,” I said. N kindly described a man unable to function in society without assistance. Remember, N is his landlord, not his executor or social worker. “Yeah, he probably won’t come out of his room if I don’t spend some time with him. I don’t want him to be alone on Christmas so I ordered him a meal and me and my dog will hang out with him this afternoon, watch a little tv or whatever he wants to do.” I began asking questions about N’s life, wondering how he came to be this compassionate and what drives him to live outside of himself. His story gave me hope. Finding himself in a tight spot financially he began renting out portions of a home for income. Yet, it doesn’t end there for him. He engages in the lives of those around him and responds to the needs that he sees – not because he has to, but because it’s just the right thing to do. N gives me hope for our future. At the end of a day that left my head shaking and my heart broken God revealed hope through N and his rescue dog.

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