Presently, the thrift store is bustling, the Donation center steadily ebbing and flowing, the men's shelter kept warm for the warm bodies sheltered there, the Outreach center overflowing with Christmas presents, winter coats, orders and donations of food for the pantry (piles of jars of peanut butter and jelly recently procured from a Lockheed Martin food drive). The holidays are the busiest of times at the Mission-Holiday food basket distributions, drives for Christmas presents, drives for food donations, Christmas gift give-aways, the winter coat give-away, Holiday parties, yet amongst all of it there was something more that needed done. The Mission is all the time a buzz of busy bees, and among the musical clamor of activity, a particular melody had been heard lingering that wouldn't quite resolve. This unresolved melody was a need in the local community, a discordant tone that had been lingering for some time-people with limited means suffering the anxieties of not knowing how to make ends meet. But this morning at 10am, amid the first snow of the season, a note was struck that worked toward resolving that particular melody.
The back door of the Lockwood United Methodist Church was unlocked and, for the first time, the Lockwood Food Pantry was opened. Cancer was not cured, World peace was not accomplished, no new stars or planets discovered, but a resource was made available that was not available before-a resource that will help to ease anxieties about one of the most necessary of necessities: food. Where such anxieties are abated more life is lived and there for a better life is lived. The Mission seeks to help with the simplest of necessities: food, clothing, shelter. Somehow in the execution of these services to the body and to the physical needs, the Heart is taken care of also. The Heart of both the giver and receiver are bolstered and the difficulties of life are seen to be less difficult. And so, on this cold November morning a few bodies and a few Hearts were bolstered.
A little extra food at this time of year can mean many things. It can mean a little extra money toward a heat bill or toward some warmer clothes. It can mean a few more presents under the Christmas tree or it can mean simply, peace of mind. Whatever the particular may be, if it allows an individual to worry less and love more, then the efforts to meet this end are affirmed in fruitful silence. Where one person's problems are lessened, that person has more patience, and perhaps more energy, for the problems of others.
No one at the Mission had been lacking for anything to do, but a need was recognized and the opportunity met. Thanks to the unflappable determination of Mary Perry-Rogers and company, and thanks to the great generosity of the members of the Lockwood United Methodist Church, in particular Pastor Cindy Schulte and Bob Simmons, a local need is now being met by local energies. Where anxiety was, opportunity now can be.