Over the years, I have come to the realization that I am not the one doing God's work but that, if I make good decisions on where to be in life, God is able to work through me. Also, I've learned that "no job is too large to accomplish" and that "no job is too small to be beneath a person's dignity." What this all means for us at Clare House is quite clear. When we provide food for our sisters and brothers in need, we are in a position to allow God to work though us to reach out to people. And, we realize that whether it's a large food drive or individual people and families donating single items of food, God and we are able to get the job done.
When we see people sitting on the front porch of Clare House and standing in line every Wednesday and Friday, we understand that the need to help is great. Any number of times, Scripture writers remind us that the "poor will always be with us" and that it is our responsibility to help them. Of course, those people who are poor are not lacking in a spiritual way, but in a material way as they need food, clothing, shelter, etc.
So, we are all in this together. On Wednesday evenings when I volunteer at Clare House, we first note the number of bags of food that have been distributed earlier that day. We use this as a sign of how many people were in line and what we need to do to replenish the supply of food-filled bags for Friday's distribution. Sometimes, Wednesday's line was so long, Tina tells us that, in addition to the usual number (100) of filled bags, she and other volunteers had to fill 25 or maybe even more additional bags. Then, she also asks us to fill significantly more than our usual 100 bags for Friday because she knows that the line of people will be long, again.
Working in the basement of Clare House filling individual bags with food, it's possible to only focus on the task of doing this, one bag at a time. But, when we learn about the great need for many bags of food, it shows us the larger picture of suffering experienced by our friends and neighbors. It is then that we more fully realize how, one bag of food at a time, together we trying to reach out and help.