Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2 NRSV
He comes to the church door on Thursday afternoons carrying a large heavy box filled with food. Not the same items each week and not just random food – he brings items most needed at that time as if he knows.
All he will say is, “I brought food.” Then he turns and leaves.
We thank him for his generosity and try to ask him questions or just start a conversation, but so far there is no response.
We don’t know his name.
He is tall and seems strong.
He has white hair.
His facial features are hidden behind a protective mask.
We refer to him as our Anonymous Angel. We have wondered about him a lot. We wonder if we “have entertained angels without knowing it”, except that he is the one who extends hospitality to support our effort to make sure no one in our church neighborhood goes hungry.
There are many things in life that we just have to let remain a mystery. Besides our Anonymous Angel, we are curious about many things having to do with the Food Pantry at Living Faith Lutheran in Rockville, MD.
How do people find us? How do we never run out of food?
For those who donate food do they know what a difference it makes?
How does this Anonymous Angel, as well as members of our church family, know just what items we need and just when we need them?
There are many times in life when our only reasonable response is to give credit and gratitude to the work of the Holy Spirit. Our food pantry is small in comparison to others in the Metro D.C. area. Yet, it is a holy place. The Spirit is there in the folks who bring us food, the volunteers and in the smiles of the people we serve.
Before the coronavirus, we served about 30 families a month with just the donations from our small congregation. Now, we serve a minimum of 40 families each week. Bags of rice, black beans, jars of applesauce and boxes of pasta practically fly out the door. We had a refrigerator donated and we love the days when we have eggs, fresh fruit or vegetables to share. Our friends from Trinity Lutheran in Bethesda continue to host food drives for us. Their plentiful gifts are a much needed blessing.
If you would like to be a part of this ministry, we are open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Volunteers, food and financial donations are always welcome. Contact Pastor Sandra Shaw at 301-424-8622 if you can help or donate items.
How are you or your congregation supporting those in need during the pandemic? How have you seen the needs change during this time? Post your comments below or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experiences and stories of impact.