Below is a collection of stories from a day in the life of The Little Pantry. These stories share the everyday workings of the pantry, and aim to share the common connection we see every day with our friends and visitors. They are stories of hope, sadness, dignity, trust, and most importantly, love. Enjoy!
Today was the Best Day Ever at TLPTC! Lots of new people and, as usual, lots more going on than food. After we closed up, a few of us went to see the play The Stand. It is about the relationship between a homeless man and a man who passed by him on the street until one day he reached out to him. They built a friendship that lasted for years. The homeless man was an addict. The other man tried desperately to help him end his addiction. He wanted to “save” him. He could not. But he never gave up on him. He never threw him away. He knew there was more to him than his addiction.
Earlier that day I spotted one of my favorite guys – one look and I knew something was wrong. The person he loves most in the world is addicted and he doesn’t know what to do. The pain he feels for her envelops him. He wants so badly to save her. And, I want so badly to save him. Neither one of us can.
So, what is the appropriate emotion? Am I mad at her for hurting him? Am I mad at her for hurting herself? Do I feel sympathy, empathy, sadness? Do I really try to understand how horrific the pain inside her is that makes her need this numbness? Do I think he should throw her away?
I don’t really know how we are supposed to feel, but we do not believe that People are disposable. We know that addictions and complications are addictive and complicated. There is nothing easy about figuring this out. We do know that we will stand fast to a belief that the person is not defined by the action.
When we started this, we decided to love these people through victories and defeats – we decided to really love these people even when they could not love themselves – we decided that even when our hearts are breaking for them, we will not throw them away.
We are working on getting his friend into a treatment program. We know that it may work, or it may not. In the end, it’s only up to her. We hope that she will finally see in herself what he sees in her - that she is worth keeping.
Can Openers, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Socks and Reading Glasses. Monetary gifts and Food donations are always appreciated.
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