In junior high I served at a soup kitchen around Thanksgiving. I went with my Dad and people from my parents’ small group at church. My friend, Kelle, and I served apple sauce and other food that I can’t remember now. I just remember the apple sauce because we were making smiley faces on plates with it. It all seemed so surreal. I was intimidated by the people I was seeing and was afraid to be left alone. I was also intimidated by the strict order of getting a food line and kitchen prepared to serve so many meals.
The moment it all sunk in was when I looked up to put food on a plate and saw the face of someone I knew. His name was KC and we went to school together. We weren’t great friends and didn’t have a class together, but we were in the same grade and he had a crush on my friend, so we’d talked a handful of times. I was so surprised to see a boy I knew in a soup kitchen that I didn’t know what to say. I hope now that my face wasn’t too shocked. I’m not even sure we said hi, but we definitely made eye contact. It was humbling and a wake up call to see a classmate at a soup kitchen. To realize that someone I knew and went to school with didn’t have enough money to put food on the table. I wondered where he lived and if he really was homeless. Then I wondered how he did his homework. I’ve never forgotten that.
Every year I am grateful for the comfortable life I live in comparison to many, but this year I will have KC in mind.