“Oh wait, I know you! You’re the lady with the big wine glass,” she said.
I smiled. “Right, yeah, the chalice for communion.”
“Yeah, I remember you.”
More and more I am having interactions with people on the streets and in parking lots who we have encountered in our work at Transitions. Transitions has both clients who live and work in the Transitions community and people who just come for refuge during the day. Because our chapel service is on a weekday morning, we have people who join our congregation who are clients at Transitions and people who are just there for the day looking for rest, warmth, and shelter.
We believe over the course of the eight months that we have been working at Transitions we have worshipped with over 100 unique individuals. Many of these are individuals who live on the street or have a rotating schedule of places they stay. These are individuals who we encounter outside of Transitions and who are beginning to recognize us. These are individuals who I am trying to understand while also honoring their right to choose their own path.
This is not dissimilar from the experiences we had as we formed and shaped Emmanuel’s Table and when I became known as “The Sandwich Lady.” The bonds that form when you continue to show up and ask how you can help are strong revealing your identity doesn’t matter as much as your presence.
As I was talking to one of the families who occasionally shows up for the day at Transitions asking them how they were doing, one commented, “Chick-fil-A is expensive.” His account took me by surprise because in our family Chick-fil-A is one of the least expensive meal options. I was overwhelmed yet again by my privilege.
Perspectives are shaped by our experiences. There is no doubt that there will always be work I need to do in trying to minister and grow alongside this ever-changing congregation.