Today’s opening letter comes from Susan Attzs-Mendoza, Executive Director of Moravian Open Door, a transitional housing facility for homeless adults and community partner of Incarnation. Susan wrote to the Moravian Open Door Committee the morning after our “Lundi Gras” bingo party this past Monday.
Since walking into the office this morning, almost every conversation in and around the building has to do with Lundi Gras and the amount of “fun” that everyone had. Charles, who helped with calling the bingo numbers, is in my office as I write this email, regaling me with reports from last evening and we’re both laughing hysterically at some of the comments that were made. What none of you know – is that Charles lost his youngest son just one month ago to an unexpected heart attack and that he hadn’t planned to attend last night. It is so good to hear him laughing through his ongoing grief and struggles.
Clients keep stopping by to talk about the event and how happy they felt. In fact, someone said that we almost ran out of chairs and that the “next time” we will have to open the door to the courtyard so that more clients can attend. Joy and expectation are in the air!
The conversation that stands out the most was the first one for the day. I asked Jorge how did he do last night, to which he responded:
“Susan, I got the best gift – a hug that made me feel genuinely loved and appreciated. You know? Someone really cares about me.” Then he held out his arms and simulated the hug that he got from one of you last night.
I couldn’t help but reflect on our Lord Jesus and how, because of you, Jorge and others were able to experience Jesus’ love, compassion and concern for “the least of these.” I am also reminded of some words to a song that we sing in the church: “I want to live/love/serve so God can use me – anywhere and anytime.”
I deliberately did not begin this communication with the standard “thank you.” Jorge’s words capture what Incarnation has done and continues to do for our clients. “Thank You” cannot sufficiently or effectively express how we feel at MOD today, but it is what I offer to you individually and collectively at this time.
Continue being extensions of Jesus in your own lives, love and service to “the least of these.”