It was the best baked potato. Amazing. With it were great “fixin’s” that included butter, sour cream, cheese and broccoli, chili and sausage. Add to that home-made cole slaw. Plus a dessert table with home-made chocolate cake.
But even more to the story.
It was the Second Wednesday of the month at the Congregational Church of Forks, Washington. Each 2nd Wednesday the church, with help from individuals and the energy and joy [oh so evident!] of church members, prepares a free meal—primarily for senior citizens.
Since my fishing trip was postponed today, Warren Johnson invited me to lunch. As I indicated, much more than baked potato. Well, I do qualify as a senior citizen…so I just fit in very well.
Must have been about 75 senior citizens. Included were some from Assisted Living and their Caretakers helping them with the meal…and, of course, getting there and returning to their residence. Equal number of men and women in the whole group.
It’s what struck me, though. What I didn’t see. Incredible to me. I didn’t see one man or woman sitting alone and only talking to their food. I didn’t see ANYONE [caps for emphasis] texting anyone. NOT ONE. Honestly, I get so tired attending meetings when—and if it’s the lead person at the meeting, SHAME on them—at least one of the attending is texting and not paying attention to the spoken agenda. Or continually looking at their watch. Okay. For some it’s inexperience. But more pointedly it’s evidence of two things: immaturity and arrogance.
Today it was refreshing that no one texted. People were laughing, were listening to each other. Such warmth and grace and caring. This in truth was a blessing I hadn’t anticipated this morning when my fishing guide [at breakfast] told me we couldn’t fish. Such a time I experienced. And if I hadn’t lost out on fishing…I would have lost out on one of the finest experiences of what it can mean for the church to walk the talk about caring, about feeding. And not having one damn moment to pull out an I-phone…or whatever else you call it.
Then. Some of the church members who purchased, prepared, served and cleaned-up said to me, “Mark? Thanks for being here. Please know what we do…we love it as much as those we serve. It’s a great feel-good-moment.”
Finally I learned it’s not always baked potato. They may have ham, chicken, casserole. Ah, such a blessing. For the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Congregational Church in Forks, Washington. Then I thought of something…looked at my calendar. Wadda you know? I “just happen” to be fishing in Forks in March…and of all things, it includes the 2nd Wednesday. Go figure.