Thursday, June 07, 2012

One of Life's Holy Moments ...

He is truly one of my heroes - David Northcott, the Executive Director of Winnipeg Harvest is a man I have admired for the last decade as I've worked in Manitoba, and been part of the circle of people who are struggling to address the myriad of issues associated with poverty and homelessness.

I feel privileged and blessed to have David intersect with my journey from time to time when I have met him in Brandon at Samaritan House Ministries, at Food Banks Canada meetings in Toronto, and now tonight when David, Marla (the exec director of Samaritan House) and myself were able to share a meal together with Marla's daughters and my son Noahkila.

It was a fitting ending to a day that began with me reading some material on the Sacrament of Communion while preparing the Communion liturgy for Sunday's Service ... Communion - the simple action of sitting at table with one another and breaking bread and sharing the cup, is one of the holiest actions we have as a Church and a people of faith, and it is something we actually re-enact daily. Communion is not meant to be separated from our day to day lives, but to affirm the Holy Presence WITHIN our day to day lives.

Today, as the six of us broke bread (figuratively speaking) at a Chinese Food Buffet in Kitchener, we celebrated and enacted the Holy Presence in our fellowship around the table ... we laughed, we reminisced, we shared life's highs and lows, and we affirmed the importance and the value of the work David and Marla and others do every day in addressing the violence of poverty in our society.

There was more than a little silliness ... laughter that brought looks of disdain from other tables ... and along the way I suggested that we go to those tables and apologize by introducing David ... "Oh we're sorry we've been so loud ... this is David Northcott, the executive Director of Winnipeg Harvest Food Bank, and a recent recipient of the Order of Canada!!" I think the reactions would be priceless!!!

Yes, David - a friend, a hero and a helluva guy - was recently awarded the Order of Canada for his 30 plus years battling hunger in Manitoba and across Canada ... in the truck on the way to the restaurant as I congratulated him on his wonderful achievement he expressed his typical humility by acknowledging that it is NOT his Order of Canada, but it is the Order of Canada for the work of Winnipeg Harvest and all the staff and volunteers and donors who struggle day to day to counter the poverty and hunger that has become a familiar part of the landscape.

I started today in a very cynical and grumpy place ... but thanks to my esteemed colleague and friend Doyle, and thanks to David Northcott O.C., Marla and the others, I end my day hopeful that our struggles to address poverty, and to enact Social Justice in our world are NOT in vain ... one day, the Kingdom we envision and are working for, will not only be revealed - we will savour being a citizen ...

Thanks for sharing your evening with us David ... and thank you for your commitment and dedication to the people lingering on the margins of our communities and our society. Enjoy the Order of Canada - you have earned it, and you continue to inspire others!!

Today, we broke bread together and shared a communion of laughter, food, fellowship and most importantly FRIENDSHIP - and for that we are very blessed !!!!

Dayenu !!!!! Dayenu!!!!!

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