Christmas Blessings – Story of Mary
They Could Not Let Her Leave Emptyhanded
Acts of Kindness ~ Big and Small ~ Every Day ~ All Year Long
If it wasn’t bad enough that Northland Shepherd’s Center was overlooked on half of their monthly food delivery, it was worse that Thanksgiving week this oversight took place. Participants wait in line in their cars for sometimes over an hour just to make sure they get the fresh fruits and vegetables we distribute. Like Mary and Joseph were told there’s no room at the Inn, staff had to tell participants there was no extra food. We referred participants to other distributions if need be but for first timer Mary, that just wasn’t an option as she was using the last of her gas to get to us.
You see, Mary had started off by calling an agency in Platte County who referred her to a food pantry. However, that pantry didn’t have appointments for another few days. The pantry in turn referred her to Clay County Senior Services for resources who told her of our mobile distribution happening that same day so she hopped in her car and came to get some food to fill her bare shelves. In discussing other resources for Mary to seek out that same day, Mary begged for just the brick of cheese she had seen others receive.
What came next was a testament of Mary’s trials, fears and suffering but how she found spirituality and learned to surrender and trust God in the unknown. Mary had been living in the same apartment for 17 years when suddenly she was displaced and found herself homeless. Over the course of being houseless for three years Mary got out of an abusive relationship, spent many worrisome nights sleeping in her car, and even lost her disability income since they had no address to reach her at. After Mary began to push her fears aside and started trusting in God, things started falling into place. She was able to get recertified for her disability which then enabled her to get an apartment as well as get her car working so she could make it to places like Northland Shepherd’s Center for assistance.
As staff listened to Mary’s testimony, they couldn’t let her leave emptyhanded. A quick look around the office turned up a perfectly fresh Tasty Tote of fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, a bag overflowing with personal care and toiletry items, canned foods, juice, cereal and shelf-stable milk, even a gift card to get some much-needed essentials“ and yes, they were even able to give her that brick of cheese she so badly wanted.