Where have you been?

I thought I would write a post as an explanation of why I have been silent for so long. I know when I started the blog my intention was that I posted every day for the year. And I haven’t managed to do that. Why?

I have learnt over the year that some things are more important than others. I think of the verse in the bible:

Donotstoreup for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. New American Standard Bible. (Matthew 6:19).

So what does this verse mean? The next part is the clue to the whole thing:

 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This time last year I had a beautiful flat. For reasons I do not wish to share I had to lay it down. And now all the rooms I carefully decorated and loved are in boxes, packed away in storage. How much did I need those things?

I have been working through the pandemic, with people, many of whom have literally nothing in their homes because their previous home was the street. I have seen numerous people queuing for food, facing the shame because shame is better than starvation. For me, Universal credit is the pandemic we are battling!

So my losses seem to mirror those of many in society who have nothing or very little. I have learnt this year that many people cannot afford milk for their babies or nappies for their children, in wealthy, prosperous Britain.

And so that is why I haven’t been blogging. Because I felt it was important to try to make Christmas better for some children who wouldn’t be getting any presents this year because their parents couldn’t afford to buy any.

So today’s recipe of hope is: Let us all count our blessings. And let us be mindful how we view material posessions because they can be snatched awy in a nanosecond X

References

do not store up treasure – Bing (accessed 15/12/2020)

The Clothed with dignity project

Today I wanted to share a bit more about instilling hopein those who face hopeless situations. There are many facing trauma; loss, financial ruin, loss of income, in these days. Those of us with paid employment are extremely fortunate. And many are not.

I have been working with the Margate Independent foodbank for some time and have set up a clothing and shoe bank. I looked back at some photos of the items laid out on the tables recently and they have all gone. Which shows the demand. Yesterday a man who has no permanent home wandered in through the open door and spotted a lovely jacket, with the label on, which he then took. He also asked for some trainers and I explained the pair he wanted had gone ( I gave him an alternative pair). Items whisk off our rails and tables.

But it isn’t about clothes. And I am beginning to understand that the answer to homelessness isn’t about a home. Yes that is extremely important. But yesterday, when I saw two of our guests with their lovely clothing, it dawned on me that people with no homes like to look nice. They like nice clothes, just like the rest of us. Clothing gives us self=respect and furthermore an identity.

So the clothing bank is giving people dignity, which leads to a restoration of hope. I feel that we need to not compartmentalise things; people are whole people and we need to take a holistic view of homelessness, not a superficial approach. There are many wonderful organisations out there tackling this issue, but this is an interesting angle I haven’t particularly thought of previously. Obviously, people need nutritious food also and that is where the food bank come in (one gentleman told me of this lovely meal he had eaten which he didn’t want to finish). But clothes help people to look smart and make us all feel nice.

Today’s recipe of hope is to support any local initiatives offering help to those in need. It may be your local foodbank (one tin of beans is appreciated), or giving a cash donation of any amount. And if you are in need, take the help, because it is there for you. Don’t feel you aren’t worthy. I know some of us struggle to receive, but there are times we need to do so.

Bless all those of you working with others to help at this tough time X