This morning, I sat down with a man I've come to know well. He was sitting on bench in the shade of a tree at St. Martin's. Resting up for his walk to the bus stop. He was shaking badly. He said, "Sometimes my blood pressure pills just don't work like they should." I tried to talk him into heading over to Health Care for the Homeless. No dice. He had a plan for the day. A part of the larger plan he's had since I first met him. A step he needed to take today to have things ready when his fiance gets out of jail.
We continued to talk about apartments, motels--places where they could start their life together. I broached the subject of money--what he had, what he needed, what he could do with what he had. It was then that he told me his food stamps allowance had been cut. He now gets $31 on his EBT card each month. "$31 dollars--how can I eat on a dollar a day?" he asked me.
Family meals--they are important to us as members of the family of God and they are important to us as inheritors of a rich New Mexican tradition that gathers family around a table where stories are shared, food savored, laughter and tears present and welcome.
Perhaps we will even decide to host a meal at St. Martin's or at Dismas House thus extending our community of the table to the community of need right here in Albuquerque.
Lead Priest, Live at Five