Tag Archives: Crisis Center

Praying for Cranberries

1 Dec
A Few Thoughts
Patricia Franklin
In the crisis center where I volunteer, we are very busy this time of year. Each family or client can receive a food sack once a month and used clothing every other month, i.e., a pair of pants and 2 shirts per person, a coat or pair of shoes once every six months. We can process about 100 or more families through the system in a 3 hour time period. Donations are mostly from churches, local  food stores and people who know why we are here. This organization was started several years ago by a few downtown churches, and has spread throughout the community.  I work at the front counter, where we keep a file on each person or family. Our clientele is steadily growing as the economy worsens and the holidays approach.
There are some very sad cases, many due to health and family problems, some jobless, elderly, homeless, etc.  In my position I don’t always know the details about the client. We have to work pretty fast, so there is not much time for conversation. But once in a while it seems like time stands still for a moment and you are struck by a particular person. For instance the other day a woman came in on a cold day and said she had no sox and asked if she could just have a pair of sox.  She was thrilled when the woman from clothing came out and handed her two pair of used sox.
The other day, a quiet middle-aged man came up to the counter and I asked “How are you today?”  Quietly he answered, “Well, not so good.  Things have been better. My back is bad, my legs…. and lots of things… but I pray a lot.”  Then he stood quietly waiting for me to fill out his paper work.  I said to him, “I’ll pray for you too.”  He started to walk away and suddenly turned back and said “Today I’m praying for cranberries.”  I stopped and looked at him as he walked away and tears came to my eyes as I thought.  “Of all the things that he must need, he simply prayed for cranberries, wanting this simple little thing for himself.” 
I don’t know what he got in his food sack that day, but with a lump in my throat, I went home that day praying with all my heart that he would get his cranberries.
 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you.
Hebrews  13:1-3   The Message
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