“To let Myself Forget to Care” Canner 2015

Jose walked slowly up the dusty trail, kicking a small stone. He carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. It hadn’t been long since Papa’s death. It was hard for the little girls to understand. They couldn’t grasp why Mama often cried. They didn’t understand why they were so often hungry… They were too little to understand that Papa’s sudden death along with the drought in rainy season made it impossible to have enough food to feed everybody. He knew Mama tried to cut corners. He tried to pick up jobs where he could, but what could a little fellow do? He felt so discouraged. Really, who cares?

Nadia watched her husband leave for the day. Day after day of looking for work, when there wasn’t work to be had. He’d come home defeated. Discouraged. And really she was discouraged too, but she tried to hide that from him- he had enough to worry about. The pantry was definitely looking bleak. She sighed. Really, who cares?

Tanisha is an orphan who came to live with City of Hope in Tanzania. Her life has had so many tough things, and she can hardly believe that she was chosen to come to America to live at a boarding school in Grundy, VA. She is learning so much and is so thankful to God for allowing her this opportunity, but sometimes, late at night, she dreams of her homeland and she fights the feelings of being a little bit homesick… She sometimes wonders, who cares?

Jerry, lives across the mountain at an adult care facility He was born a special young man and is so thankful to live where he can be so excellently provided for. Every morning, he’s up and gathering eggs, and keeping an eye out to enthusiastically welcome any visitors that happen by. “How ya doin buddy?” But sometimes he misses his brother, and his parents. He talks about them a lot. And in his special way, he needs a reminder. Does anybody care?

All year long, there is prep going on for this week. Men donate hours, days and even years. Funds sift in. Everything is primed and ready to go.  Finally this week is showtime.

The MCC Meat Canner rolls in and the fun begins. Volunteers leave their warm beds before 4 am all week. Hours and hours are given to the chopping, canning, labeling of the turkey. More hands are needed to provide refreshments for volunteers. Behind the scenes, ladies are washing uniforms and towels. The entire community is needed to pull this off. I love a community event.

Soon it’s just a happy memory, and we look forward to next year’s visit. But this year, as I dried the millioneth can and cut that turkey into chunks, I had one of my Mother’s favorite poems running through my head…

And I said a little prayer for the recipient of the meat, whether they are in a home down the road, or on some foreign soil, wondering if anyone really cares…

May I never be too busy with my own agenda to be able to take the time to support fantastic programs like this. May I never forget to care.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need, but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in him?” 1 John 3:17

I love how each can includes the reminder “In Christ name” May that inspire us to sacrifice again and again- because of His sacrifice for us.

Blessings, Kendra

I wonder if I have the right
To let myself forget to care
While children shiver in the night
Where all is dark and cold and bare.

My little ones are free from dread
And sheltered safely from the storm
Their eyes are bright, their cheeks are red,
Their laughter glad, their clothing warm.

But other little ones must weep
And face new dread with each new day,
Where hunger’s fangs bite very deep
And want sits like a ghost in gray.

I have no need to feel the blame
If pallor dims the orphan’s cheek
I have not made the cripple lame
Nor taken from the poor and weak,

But knowing how they weep at night
Where all is dark and cold and bare,
I wonder if I have the right
To let myself forget to care.

-Author Unknown


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