This week with Jo being away, I was bracing myself for a busy week. I knew that Tuesday would especially be busier than usual, as I would have a staff meeting with Erinn, a drop-in at the Thrift Store, and couple hours of work time before eating dinner and helping facilitate our weekly bible study (something Jo usually does each week). If you’re like me, sometimes it is only with hindsight that you realize you should be a little more positive about a day to begin with, rather than dreading it’s length, because yesterday turned out to be pretty sweet.
First of all, Erinn and I sat cozily in our usual cafe for a staff meeting. We were able to check in, talk Dale business, and have a meal together. We definitely missed our third partner in crime, Jo. But I really enjoy staff meetings and this one was no exception!
After that, we were very early to the Thrift Store… so we had the chance to sit in the car and chat some more while I finished my lunch. Just as we were packing up to leave the car, I noticed a man across the street fall flat on his face from the sidewalk onto the open road right off a bustling Queen Street. Erinn ran over with me on her trails, and we helped the man up. It turns out that Erinn knew him from around Parkdale, and we were able to sit with our friend while we waited for the ambulance to come. He was very grateful, and hopefully he is safe and taken care of.
We finally made our way into the Thrift Store. One of the ongoing challenges of having drop in at the Thrift Store is having enough chairs in our little coffee corner, as just as chairs come into the store they obviously also get sold. Yesterday we sat on a collection of chairs, night tables, boxes, and coffee tables – a reminder that anything can be a chair if you really need it and that The Dale folks are really great at rolling with the punches. Luckily there were just enough bums for the “chairs” we had around, and we enjoyed a peaceful time together, munching on chips and grapes, sipping on coffee and hot chocolate, and talking together. Some of our friends even played violin and guitar and it was so nice to have customers coming to the back and listening for a while before moving on… it seemed like people’s days were made – and ours too!
I had some time before dinner, so I went to the local library with some of our German missionary friends who have enthusiastically joined us at The Dale in the past couple of months. We sat together at a table and did our own work in the surprisingly loud hustle of the Parkdale library. We even met a lady sitting at our table that was intrigued by a tea my German friend was drinking, as she remembers having it at home in Argentina. It was nice that he got to tell her a bit of his story, and we even told her about The Dale.
At 5:30 we made our way across the street to eat at St. Francis Table, a local place in Parkdale run by monks and volunteers who serve meals to folks in the community for only a dollar a plate. The food is really good, and we got to sit together with some of our Dale friends who happened to be there eating. It felt like a really nice family dinner of sorts, where we all can come as we are and share a meal together. One of our Dale regulars asked me to pray over his meal before he started eating, and that felt really special to me.
Finally to end the night, a few of us went over to our regular room next door and did bible study together. We sat around a small table, prayed, read the Bible, and discussed the contents. We were reading from John 17 and 18, and it was so lovely to sit with my friends and talk about the Bible. I know that God is moving in me, and in them, and it is nice to hear everyone’s perspectives.
I am grateful for these days, a mixture of odds and ends that somehow string together into something so familiar. And I am grateful for my Dale family that I can sit on any number of chairs with at any number of places and have it still feel like home.
A little sample of our Thrift Store fun.
It would mean so much to me if you were able to partner financially with The Dale to support my role within this ministry. There are a number of ways to do this, including CanadaHelps, PAR, or cheque. Please reach out to me if you would like more information on partnering with me in this way. Thanks for your support!