“God is Never Late”
November 29, 2023
Our Food Center Director, Heidi VanderLaan, received this email from a first-time food center visitor. We are blessed to help neighbors who have experienced or are currently experiencing hardship.
I am writing this email today regarding my appointment last evening at the food pantry.
…This was my first visit to Streams and I was filled with self-loathing, as I was taught as a child to always “be the lender, not the borrower.” To find myself at the age of 60 needing assistance to acquire something as fundamental as food brought upon those all too familiar feelings of failure and doubt.
How did I get to the point of not having anything in my refrigerator other than condiments after having raised 4 children and achieving my own educational and career goals? How did I not have food after feeding people in my neighborhood for so many years? Life has beaten me up.
I parked my vehicle and crossed the parking lot heading towards the entrance doors. A very kind gentleman who was dressed casually and exuded a sense of calm and happiness asked if I needed assistance. He directed me to the main entrance doors and as I approached them, those feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment quickly surfaced. When I approached the desk, I was greeted by two smiling women who were polite and kind. The woman that assisted me spoke softly and looked me in the eyes with compassion, putting me at ease. The sense of calm in her voice began to ease the sickness in the pit of my stomach that has become all too familiar.
As I waited for my turn to shop, I listened to the woman behind the desk continue to assist the stream of people arriving. She addressed each person with such compassion that I could only imagine this woman was really an angel disguised as a mortal being. Angel Lady, as I will call her, continued to smile and spread happiness. The feelings of failure and sadness in my gut began to give way to that sense of calmness that Angel Lady spread to everyone she came into contact with.
Then, I heard a woman’s voice call my name. It was my turn to “shop.” Thank you, Angel Lady, for simply being you. Thank you for what you do on a daily basis because you make a difference.
I am thankful for our brief interaction because I have been reminded that God is never late.
With deepest gratitude…”
– Food Center Shopper