As a staff member at My Brother’s Keeper, I have the tremendous privilege of delivering God’s love and hope to families in need every day. Amidst our busy schedule, it can be easy to lose sight of this blessing, though, even for our staff. One recent delivery in Fall River’s Flint neighborhood put this privilege into sharp focus.
As I climbed the narrow, winding stairs up to the second floor, I found myself consumed with calculating distances and angles in my head. Would a full-size box spring really fit up these stairs? How about the couch and the long dresser? But at the top of the stairs, the calculations stopped. The apartment was empty, if you could even call it an apartment.
We were here to deliver a bedroom set to Andrea, Mark, and their 2 ½ month old daughter, Jasmine. This was the family’s first apartment after spending the pregnancy and past few months sleeping on a pullout couch in Mark’s parent’s home. And if this hadn’t been hard enough, Andrea suffered from frequent epileptic attacks.
Andrea was so excited to finally have her own place that she didn’t seem to notice the missing floorboards and exposed drywall in this shell of an apartment. Fortunately, Mark and a friend were hard at work and had already finished putting new hardwood flooring in the family’s bedroom.
The renovations and deposit for the apartment had exhausted the couple’s little savings so their only piece of furniture was an old range sitting in the middle of the living room. “I’ve looked everywhere for a bed,” Andrea explained as she gently rocked little Jasmine. “I went from church to church but they don’t have furniture and I couldn’t get any help until I found My Brother’s Keeper.”
Time to move the furniture in… the box spring and the rest of the bedroom set fit up the stairs without a problem. “It’s beautiful!” she screamed as we set up the bed. “I’ve never owned anything so big!” But upon receiving the crucifix, Andrea became quiet. “I’ll hang this above Jasmine’s crib,” she whispered.
On my way down that same set of stairs, I remembered why I had come to Fall River today. No longer thinking about moving furniture or the day’s logistics, I remembered the great privilege of serving in Christ’s name.