As hope for our continued presence in the Queens Manor parking lot, feeding and cultivating friendships with the marginalized community was snuffed out today, the board met to plan ahead. As with all goodbyes we shared stories, stories that have moved us, that have changed us all. Because behind every reaching hand for a sandwich, a banana, or a pair of socks is a life filled with broken stories. There is something profoundly sacred to listen to someone share the heart wrenching details of thier life. It's easy to offer a trite piece of biblical scripture like candy to make the moment seem some what sweeter. They've had lots of candy thrown at them.
Simply, they just want some one to listen. So you listen, and you hold it like the sacred gift it is. You may offer prayer, hoping the same spirit that resurrected new life on easter morning, will simply whisper humble words of hope through you. Or you will simply embrace this sacred moment in silence.
C.A.R.T.S has never been simply about the food. We remember when we were evicted from the Capitol 6 parking lot. Trying to reorganize, and plan ahead from that eviction at the same time with the bank account kind of looking like " Old Mother Hubbards Cupboard." It was kind of empty. But as we talked, and planned about what was important, and what we would take to the streets. Over, and over again, volunteers affirmed it was the human connection. It was the relationship we were nurturing with the marginalized inner city community. No matter how little we had to take out, we would still go.
So this Sunday is going to be tough for many volunteers, and the inner city community. Most of this marginalized community know we have to leave because we're being evicted. Last week as people moved through the line it was the steady chorus, like some mournful chant, " Where will you go ?", "Where will we find you?"
We won't abandon this relationship we've developed over five years or more. Because every Sunday, we see and hear something. It's that voice, and face of the God-man who moved into the neighbourhood, pitching his tent on the broken landscape of humanity.
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ And that voice of Love that haunts the human soul will say: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.
As I told Victoria Cool Aid Society we will vacate the parking lot. But, we won't vacate the neighbourhood
In the image below, is a piece of memory we looked at this evening from Queens Manor. Its actual written on one piece of card board, but, I couldn't get it all in one shot. You have to love the humor. We we're given second prize, but, if you read the caption beside the ribbon cross, " those who are last, shall be first." Thank you Michael and Dean for this precious gift.
We are a local Victoria, BC charity dedicated to fulfilling our mission: