Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of working at My Brother’s Keeper in Easton, Massachusetts. The mission is simple, “to bring the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve,” and the impact is powerful. There are two main components of the work done at the Keeper: furniture and food.
Through the delivery of food and furniture to people who are in need, the people of My Brother’s Keeper work in a very real way to be the hands of Christ in the world and spread His love and hope.
At the end of each furniture delivery, the recipient of the furniture is presented with a crucifix and is told that all the people who brought the furniture in are just the delivery people; the man on the cross is the one who sent the furniture. It takes a special moment and makes it sacred. It powerfully infuses Christ into the situation and helps everyone to stay focused on the what (the love of Christ), the who (the person receiving the delivery), and the why (because they are loved).
In my work, I was particularly moved by a delivery we made to a mother and her children. The kids were about 5 and 7 years old. We brought them new beds, and after setting them up, the kids were jumping in anticipation and joy about the ability to make their bed. It was a lot of fun to make their beds with them, but it caused me to stop and think about all the things that I take for granted in my own life. The clothes that I wear, the food I eat, the chair I sit in, and the bed that I sleep in are all things that I just assume will be there. I do not treat them with any special respect, and I am definitely never excited about making my bed.
At first I was taken aback by all the things that I take for granted, and thought about how I could better work to appreciate what I have. As I continued to sit with my thoughts, my heart took me deeper. I began to think about the relationships that we all have with one another. Often times, we find ways to be at odds with one another out of jealousy, frustration, fear, or a number of other reasons. It is harder to truly see a person, and break through all levels of human failings—both those that are truly present, and those that we project onto one another—to break through all these false images and see each other as we really are, children of God, struggling to live up to the Father’s will.
In the work of the Keeper, this vision, this reality of seeing each person as a beautiful and beloved child of God, is the only thing that is ever taken for granted. There are no prerequisites to be loved by God, and similarly, there are no requirements to be served by the Keeper. There are some things that should be taken for granted.