Love or Shame
Earlier this week, I got myself ready to go to cook and serve food to people who are hungry. I was surprised to be met by my girls, who had told me they “might” be able to go with me.
In my mind I had prepared a speech to shame them into getting ready. I had planned to tell them that they didn’t need to worry about being hungry and could get up any time they wanted to, but those who came to Emmaus House had to rely upon the kindness of kind folks.
My shame speech was not necessary and I wondered why I had prepared myself to be let down, instead of looking forward to the joy of what had actually occurred.
We rode and chatted about things that only the young can comprehend. I nodded as if I did whilst in my mind I thought of how good it felt to not be going alone.
We arrived at 7:15 and although breakfast is not served until 8:30, there was already a line.
Now, when I go to Emmaus House, I go to work, so dress for the occasion. Apparently, I did my job too well.
As we walked up to the door, one of our customers stood up to inform me about the proper way to stand in line.
“Listen to what I’m telling you,” he said. “There ain’t no shame in this line. Cause there ain’t nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t you feel no shame at all, all you need to have in your heart is love.”
I could not move. A part of me wanted to stand in the line to fully receive the experience, but a bigger part, the part still attached to the concerns of the world wanted to explain that I would be preparing food, not eating it.
Then I thought of what the man had said; “There is no shame.”
I let go of every other thought and absorbed the joy of his comment.
Every day, we get to choose love or shame.
Be you, be well, be love.
Bertice Berry, PhD.