Homeless Lunch Serves Up Big Dose of Gratitude

We had a humbling after-Thanksgiving Day experience.  Our simple intention was to serve lunch to the homeless and we ended up being the ones served.

We dished up lunch to 200+ sheltered homeless and the staff of Dallas Life, a ministry that provides food, clothing, shelter, education and long-term rehabilitation for men, women and families.

Admittedly, I had a couple of preconceived fears.  The mere word “homeless” brought a mental picture of ragged clothes, body odors and stringy, unwashed hair.

I’m not proud of my judgmental thoughts, but usually when I’m willing to become educated, those thoughts flow fairly easily into a dead pool where they stagnate and eventually dissolve.

It didn’t take long this time because my mental picture of the homeless was immediately blown away.  

We encountered polite, well-groomed folks who greeted us pleasantly and more often than not, said thank you to us for being there.  Some even asked how we were.

Can you imagine?  

As in any society, the folks living and working at Dallas Life bring a diversity of life experiences.  My sweetie and I spent time talking with one  young woman “in the program”–a multi-phased modality designed to get folks back on their feet.  Angela (not her real name) educated us on the various phases and about her plans.  She was adamant about completion and determined to fulfill her goal of eventually working in a hotel environment where she could be of service.

Angela described her gratitude for the organization and for not being one of the residents with a drug or alcohol addiction.

Her next words rocked us:  “I am just unemployed and homeless.”

My sweetie and I exchanged an incredulous look.  Just unemployed and homeless?

So exactly what are my problems today?

Zero.  I’ve got no complaints.  Instead, I’m honoring hope, optimism and a belief in the endurance of the human spirit.

Will you join me as you absorb these five quotes?  I’ve chosen them with Angela in mind and hope you enjoy.

B Well & Aware of Blessings,


Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. ~Christopher Reeve

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott

Optimism is the foundation of courage. ~Nicholas Murray Butler

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was. ~ Richard L. Evans 





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  1. Galen Pearl says:

    Hi, Beth! I just hopped over from your comment on my guest post today on The Bridge Maker. I love your blog. I read your profile and could relate right away. What part of Missouri are you from? My mom’s people are from the Ozarks in southern MO. And I had a cousin named Beth Wilson! Small world.

    Anyway, I’ve marked your blog as a favorite and I look forward to reading more.

    All the best, Galen

    • Beth Wilson says:

      Hi Galen!

      Thanks for the praise; I’m always touched when another blogger replies in
      such an affirming way. I already respect and admire Alex so much and just
      know that you and I will get along splendidly!

      I’m from the Kansas City area–grew up in Independence. I love the Ozarks
      and have spent a good deal of time in the Branson and Springfield areas.

      Let’s stay in touch!

      B Well,

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