I had a different post in mind for today, but last night that I learned that a friend of mine has passed away, and I’m just do darn sad about it. I try to keep my blog posts fun and cheery, and this will be no different. I just wanted to take a moment to honor Dan.
Our church sponsors a weekly meal on Friday nights to serve the homeless and at-risk in our community. We started the meals last year as a way to keep in contact with our homeless friends during the warmer months, when the rotating Safe Harbor shelter is on hiatus. There were no community meals on Fridays, so we wanted to fill that gap.
But let me tell you that once word got out, our meals were the place to be on Friday nights! We were very surprised at how many folks at risk of becoming homeless began to attend. It became a blessing in disguise, because unfortunately a few of our at-risk friends did become homeless, but since we already had relationships with them, they had a contact point for help and services.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dan last year at our Friday meals. He was a kind, soft spoken man. He was not homeless, but was unable to work due to having rheumatoid arthritis. His medication was very expensive, so community meals were quite a blessing to him.
Dan gave the best hugs. Several times he tried (in vain) to teach my BFF Julie & I the strategy involved with playing Blackjack. We failed, but we loved him for his patience in trying to teach us. He was a joy to be around. Despite his physical limitations, he was always ready to do whatever he could to help us with our meals. He made the best lemonade, so we quickly dubbed him our chief lemonade chef!
Inspired by our meals, he started to volunteer with another Christian organization that puts other at-risk folks in touch with special services to help them avoid becoming homeless. He joked that his volunteering made him “High-Class Homeless.” 😉
What really resonated with all who knew him was his strong faith that one day he would no longer be confined to his aching body, and would dance the streets of gold in heaven.
So today I pray for Dan–my warm and gentle Friend. May be dancing to his heart’s content!