City Light Women and Children’s Shelter

The light in their eyes penetrated my heart and I knew that tonight I was blessed with being served.

Two of my daughters, a friend, and I had the opportunity to help serve dinner at the City Light Women and Children’s Shelter tonight.  We arrived and put on our hair nets, washed our hands, and slid on our gloves.  Preparing the food, laughing, and taking a few pictures of the girls brought joy to the small kitchen downtown Boise.  Each of the employees and volunteers were kind and yet ran the kitchen with precise order and regimen.  Pulled pork sandwiches and fries, with homemade cookies were on the menu for supper.  Salad bar is always available as well as a 3 bean salad that Bee whipped up.  What a fun way to spend the holiday season.

The women and children line up and I instantly see that this is not just handing out beige trays with hot food.  My mind transports me into the mixture of women and there I am standing in line with my girls waiting for a free meal.  I had to look away as tears welled up in my eyes and my throat tightened.  “What is the story behind all of these beautiful women? How did they get here and what are they seeking refuge from?”  I went back to washing the large pans, dipping them into the rinse bath, and then finishing them with a sanitary dip.  Four pans later I have gathered my emotions enough to turn around and watch my girls dish up another family of three.  Seniya smiles and comments to a woman, “Your teeth are beautiful! I love your smile!” Her reply, “Thank you so much. Right now you make me feel so beautiful!  You just made my night!”

Our evening of serving dinner turned into us being served.  All of us have a story and tonight the gratitude poured from these sweet ladies and their children.  They were so grateful for a hot meal, a roof over their heads, warm blankets, friendly volunteers, and the opportunity to feel safe.  Isn’t that what we all want?  To have our basic needs met, to feel loved, and to have safety.  Tonight I am honored that we were able to feel of God’s love for all of our sisters and know that He is our constant companion.  The opening prayer over our food tonight was given by one of the women waiting in line for dinner and I can honestly say that I have not heard a more pure heart asking for the blessings that they truly needed, as well as giving extreme gratitude for all of their abundance, and still giving thanks to Him and to all whom touch their lives. What a true gift to hear her humble words  and listen to her faith filled pleas!

Tonight my girls and I were the ones blessed.  This is what Christmas morning should feel like!