Monday, July 20, 2009
Potluck in the Park
Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer with some other Univera associates in Portland. I spent three hours helping with the Potluck in the Park program. I was a little nervous because I went up by myself (James stayed back to play a double header for softball) and I didn't really know where I was going or what exactly I'd be doing.
I found O'bryant Square and the huge crowd had already gathered. I saw my Univera team in the distance and I was so relieved that I was in the right place. It was like seeing members of my family and knowing that I had made it. There was already a huge crowd gathered and waiting to get fed.
I stood next to Tommy at the caserole table and scooped heaping spoonfuls of interesting mixtures of ground beef, potatoes and vegetables onto over 500 plates of food. The line monitor kept reminding us to be conservative because there were still a lot of people in line and only give one scoop. I found it hard to meet this request when hungry eyed men and women asked for just one more scoop of food. I had no idea when the last time was that they had eaten who knows it they remembered either. I continued to genereously scoop caserole onto plates and as the food started to dwindle I looked up and saw that the line of people was still out into the street.
I just scooped and scooped however much people wanted and then we got to the last pan of food. There were still people coming through the line and each time I scooped out of the pan it made my heart ache. There were about two scoops left in the pan and I heard the line monitor shout out, "That's it...they've all been through!" I couldn't believe we had enough food for all of those people. I was reminded of when Jesus fed the 5,000 with fish and bread and there were leftovers.
There were people there for many different reasons and many of them for reasons I will never know. Even now as I sit at my computer in my appartment with my husband close by I feel the extreme gap between my position in this world and the position of the people I fed yesterday. I know conceptually that I did make a difference in helping and I continue to help people who need in many ways...but I can't stop thinking..."is it enough?"
If you ever have the opportunity to volunteer for Potluck in the Park I highly recommend it. The potluck happens every Sunday at 2:15 and goes until 5:30 with clean up. There is contact information at their website (link is above) and all groups/people are welcome to help.