Food Pantry, Saturday February 27
I have no icon engraved for this siting of you, Beloved. But my heart has been stirred.
The day was gray and we skirted raindrops by huddling beneath the patch of roof
covering the doorway we once used when we could enter our house of worship safely.
Now we serve those who hunger outside our doors, while a pandemic rages
and we huddle together and make community in virtual boxes and empty parking lots.
Our offerings had been brought the day before, now packed up in well-supplied bags of
plentiful sandwiches and homemade chocolate chip cookie-perfect love.
An abundance of food and groceries were piled on tables, and bags for fur-babies, too.
The rain kept the multitudes away, but those who came empty-handed left with plenty.
There at the threshold of world and church, you made your presence known in song.
I had not known Pharrell Williams to be a hymn writer until Happy pierced the gloom.
Triumphant as you arrived by bike: yellow rain slicker radiating with celestial light.
You looked at us, dark skin covered with mandatory mask and yet, we saw your smile.
Angel choirs and heavenly trumpets can sound like R&B played on a bike-rack radio.
Our arms were up, hands clapping and voices raised as you nodded along in time.
Circling, like a labyrinth that only you could see, around that rain-soaked asphalt.
Around and around, circles growing smaller and larger, near and away and near again.
You came close as I was singing and met my eyes. “No brakes” you said, still circling.
“No breaks” is what I heard and wondered if you meant that for you, or for me.
You heard my silent questioning; circling once again my way, you put your foot down.
You spoke words of truth: “See, that’s how you stop without falling down.”
All the cares of this world were tied up in the bags you had strapped to that bike.
You didn’t need groceries, or any more baggage. But you accepted our love offerings.
I asked if you needed anything else: “A cool drink of water” was your only reply.
With that provided, we broke bread and gave thanks. Dreary transformed to delight.
Circling again, you turned up your tunes. We lifted our voices and you nodded in time.
Your work here was done so onward you moved: next town, next healing, next call.
We kept singing, joy burning within us. We lingered, and listened, and hoped.
No longer longing for what things once were, our eyes saw what is and ever shall be.