Mercy Riders

Pushing pedals, pushing hope

July 14, One Year Later

Sunday, a day of rest. Literally.

A big reason I wanted to be home the day before was to be able to participate in the St Vincent de Paul food pantry, which is hosted every month at my parish, St. Anthony Catholic Church. I joined at the charter’s inception 4 years prior, and it’s gotten me out of the comfort/complacent zone and out into my microcosm of the world to help the poor. It very much has played the important role of me not riding across the country to say ‘hey look what i did’, but to involve others in a great cause and say “HEY, LOOK WHAT *WE’VE* DONE!” The community “WE”.

I am getting as much out of being part of SVdP as the people we help. People in need asking for help, now there are some strong people. Having to put your pride aside and ask for help can’t be easy. As Bill observed during the ride, it’s easy for us to cloak our perception of things on a situation, only to find it’s not a good fit. SVdP has helped me in this area to focus on the person and their situation; to see Christ in them. I’m not there yet in every case, but like this ride, it’s a journey, and I know God has patience with me.

At the food pantry I have the opportunity to interview our friends in need. What a great honor. As part of what SVdP does, we’ve already gone to the home and gotten an inventory of needs. This monthly interview at the food pantry gives us the opportunity to review issues that may come up and deal with them before they get out of control, or sometimes it’s just an opportunity for them to talk to someone. And of course there’s the food. St Anthony Parish has been so very generous in providing food for these needy folks. Through SVdP members, especially Cookie’s organizational skills, the parish has also gone the extra extraordinary step of providing gifts at Christmas and Easter for needy groups; both locally and for Mercy Housing.

Speaking of which, and as if I’m not inspired enough on this particular day, at the food pantry, I’m handed a homemade collection of letters and pictures sent to SVdP from Mercy Housing, from Christmas and Easter, from parents and kids thanking us and the parish for thinking of them. Timing timing timing. God’s in control. What a great day to be home.