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  • let your heart break…

    2011 - 01.10

    Every day I tried to have at least 400 lunches to hand out. It usually took me about 5 hours to put the meals together and a half of an hour to hand them out. I always took extra food just in case someone came up after all the full lunch bags were gone. One day I simply ran out of food. I turned and looked and there were still a least 100 people in what felt like a never ending line. I was all of a sudden overwhelmed and distraught. I put my head down for a moment and then, embarrassingly, burst into tears. Not quiet running down your face silent tears, but heart wrenching, noisy sobs. I couldn’t stop. It was too much. The grief, the hunger, and the courage it took every day for many of them just to breathe. And I failed them… I let them down…

    All of a sudden I was surrounded by the people. They were saying, “who hurt you lunch lady”…” tell us who hurt you”…Their care of me and concern for me made me cry even harder. Finally I choked out that no one had hurt me…that I had run out of food. I blubbered that I was sorry I let them down. And then arms went around me, and people were patting my back, squeezing my shoulders and saying “you didn’t let us down”, and “we love you lunch lady” and “you just can’t feed the whole world”… and I was surrounded in a cocoon of grace. That was the day my heart broke…wide open.

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