And there it is! 5 days complete, that was the challenge (but im going to do the full week because, well, because i am!
So day 4 was Wednesday and the free food was once again rearing its very welcome head, House of Bred arrived and was very welcome, i had eaten only toast on day 4 as i had ran out of the basics but still had some frozen chicken left over. I had a lovely dinner at HOB and left with a food bag that contained a loaf of Greggs free bread (i did wait til last!)
HOB was a great help and much needed, the food bag has some good tinned stuff in it and it will more than tide me over until Saturday, i have £1 left in my budget for another loaf should i need it.
However, thurday arrives and the free food continued to be offered, the senior minister at church wanted to meet me for lunch, he offered me the Yard pub and i went, he was insistant that he pay for it as he called the meeting so i had a lovely fish and chip dinner accompanied by a cup of tea. All of this just underlined to me the huge gap between my life and that of some of my HOB friends, again because of my job and what i do, the opportunity to meet with Alex and be fed by him was one that just wouldnt be offered to most of my HOB friends, very sad but thats the reality. (not an attack on you Alex, just you arent going to be having dinner in the Yard with everybody!)
I was very aware however looking at the menu that the meal i was eating cost £6.99, we didnt have an offer meal, we didnt try and be frugal and get something from Greggs, i chose a dinner that as it happened cost the same as the budget for the whole week that i had been set, one weeks worth of food, nourishment, vitamins, iron, minerals, one week of the social implications of sharing a meal with someone, was all blown out of the water for one lunch that by 8pm tonight will be long forgotten and with my animal instincts i once again, will be searching out another meal and sharing it with someone else.
I wonder what God thinks of this situation, when he sees me eating a meal that costs the same as a weeks food for someone else, its the same way i might look on in distain at someone who spends the same on a car as i earn in a year, or a holiday for a week that could save the lives of hundreds of chjildren in Africa.
It was interesting as i walked through town, i met a new friend to hob who was busking with a sign saying he was homeless, my meal could have bought him a coat, or a flask or some fags and a sandwich, i wouldnt have missed the fish and chips if i had done that and i would have been able to give someone else something that would have been much more valued and appreciated…but i didnt, i had a chat with him, listened to his story a bit more, offered some practical help when he was ready and went on to have my nice dinner and cup of tea at the Yard. Sadly, we all do this in one way or another. The early church just after pentecost the bible says became known for sharing everything and living together well and looking out for one another, i might not be great att that but maybe i could go without one or two things more and ensure that someone who has slipped through the cracks of society is looked after and out for, maybe if i had invited him for lunch or forsaken it and done something for him, something significant would have happened, maybe he would have trusted me more and taken a chance on my help, maybe it would renew his faith in people enough to give life another shot. I didnt do it however, i walked on and had my nice dinner with Alex
(I did get him a brew from Greggs though!)