I saw it again yesterday.
Across the years I’ve seen it time after time, appearing in different forms and shapes.
Heaven standing at the gate of hell.
The context for my latest experience was routine enough, at least for a sweltering hot July afternoon in Dallas. I dropped in on one of the delivery sites for our mobile summer lunch delivery program. The innovative effort teams CitySquare (through our AmeriCorps members and our Nurture, Knowledge and Nutrition initiative) with PepsiCo. Over the past two summers, thanks to this unique partnership, we’ve doubled the number of children served these important meals during the months when school is not in session. Those are the details, the set up, if you will.
As I watched our AmeriCorps leaders playing with a good sized group of precious children, I somehow stepped across a line. Somewhere between vision and overwhelming realization, I looked into hell itself from the edge of heaven.
The children were beautiful and playful, in spite of the terribly oppressive heat. By the time I left the site my clothing was soaked. They all seemed unaffected!
The meals were served as usual. Everyone sat down on the ground and ate picnic style under the only shade I could see in the aging, multi-family apartment complex. Living conditions were crowded here. The people felt packed into a very limited and limiting space. I met one mother who shared that two families lived in her rather small apartment, extended family members sharing a home.
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