01 May Food, Fellowship, & Connection
This piece was authored by Susan Jones, a Center for Women & Children volunteer and Mary Wheeler Circle member.
It’s 1:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon at the Center for Women & Children. One or two at a time, several of us volunteers make our way to the multipurpose room.
Each one brings a snack to share and a smile.
We bring other things, too, like coloring pages, cookie decorating supplies, books, games, and musical instruments.
We walk around and introduce ourselves to the women who are already there, cuddling babies along the way. Are they our guests, or are we theirs, walking into their space?
We check out the games. I sit down with a group playing Monopoly. I watch one woman strategize her way through the game as she handles her seven-month-old son. “Wow!” I say, “If you get you own business, LOOK OUT WORLD!” I wonder if anybody has seen that strength in her and called it out before.
I meet a new friend who works for a children’s author, and we talk about my love of reading to children. I open one of my favorite books and start reading. Soon, I realize we have a larger audience. Others are fascinated, watching my hands glide over the braille on the clear plastic pages overlaying the pictures. And after all, every one of us has a child inside, somewhere.
Time passes quickly between nibbles and conversation. All too soon, it’s time for us to take our leave. I sense that the women and children who live here are moving forward, too.
Next month, we’ll be back to meet new friends with different stories, different points of connection. Meanwhile, there are two or three with whom I’ve connected, and I will lift them up in prayer as we all continue our journey to Christ-likeness.