Stepmemo

A note to stepmoms everywhere

Give a gift like no one’s looking.

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Jessica Henry's photo.

Once a month, I go to a church to help serve meals to the homeless. Today was that day for this month. I volunteered months ago to be the “community meal coordinator” for the church where I work. Now this speaks to me personally because when I was a kid, we were broke. We lived in an apartment that had lots of critters in the attic and sneaking around, and sometimes the sewer backed up into the tub. We hid from he landlord, and once, when my dad lost his job, our whole life was a jar of change we had scraped together. Some neighborhood kids broke in and stole that jar. I was very young, and had a genuine fear over how we would eat. My mother went to a few churches and food pantries and got us through it.

Now that I am older, I have a hard time with thinking a child or family not having food is inacceptable. I know a lot of people like to default to the whole “welfare handout” idea right off the bat, and you know what? That’s not fair. You don’t know what the people in that line are going through. You don’t know how they got there and you have no right to judge their need. Something traumatic may have happened. They could have had an accident and lost their job and everything. Their place of work could have closed down and they haven’t found their way yet. You don’t know, and really it’s not your concern.

In our lives we are put into places where we have an opportunity to help others. Sometimes we happen to have the amount of money someone needs, sometimes we just happen to have a truck when someone needs to move. Sometimes you will help someone, and then find out later that they abused what you gave them. Maybe they didn’t really need it, or you gave them money and they spent it on a good time instead of food, or you helped them and they disappeared after that. God put you in a place to give a gift, and that is what you did. That’s all you need to know, was that you did what you were supposed to. If they didn’t handle your gift correctly, that’s their problem.

Always give what you can, it’s not up to you what happens with what you give. It matters that it’s your responsibility to be a human being and have concern for your fellow human beings.

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Author: Jessie Henry

Reinventing my life and enjoying my adventure. Living life as full as I like with no apologies, loving all of it.

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