As my time at the Drop In Center becomes more limited I hold onto the precious moments from when I do get to be there. Last month I encountered a youth that we have known for the past three years.
He is quiet, shy, been struggling with addiction for a long time, knows Jesus but is still currently held captive by his addiction, is so sweet and caring. Every time I get to see him I say, “Hello! How are you doing?” Sometimes I get a look like I am crazy, sometimes I get the “what’s up” nod, sometimes he smiles and says, “doing okay” but usually he doesn’t go beyond a hello.
Last month I said, “Hey! How are you doing today?” He said, “I’m well” and kept walking. Naturally, I thought the conversation was over. However, he then turned around and exclaimed with both arms in the air, “I woke up this morning and rolled over to my friend and asked, “Is Hosea open today?!” and when I remembered Hosea’s was open, I was like, YES! I cannot wait to eat.”
A huge smile came across his face as he continued to mimic shoveling food into his mouth and said, “I just hopped up and was so excited to come and eat, and I was just thinking about how I couldn’t wait to just go to town on whatever meal was there!”.
There was so much expression in his face, so much relief, so much excitement. So much so that for a split second you couldn’t see the lines of exhaustion or his sunken cheeks from lack of nourishment. All you could see was pure joy and it was simply over the meal that was to be served by faithful volunteers at Hosea.
It wasn’t quite 5:00 o’clock yet — or “dinner” time — but he went and stood at the front of what would soon be the dinner line. Right next to the table where we serve our meals, he grabbed his plate, politely stood and quietly waited. Never pushing or askin