Our Community Leader Mic reflects on a simple act of kindness that reminds us all of the necessity for community life.
Last week I joined my friends at Peace House, our newest home in Forest Park, for a Tuesday night dinner. It had been a few months since I was last able to join them, so I was especially eager to come. Of course we’d seen lots of each other elsewhere-Community Nights, birthdays, and celebrations, but eating together, at home, is extra special for me. Something about the ordinariness of being together, about the simple, easy conversation that lingers around food and laughter. It’s nourishing to me.
As we sat together last week, and our plates were being filled with pork roast, potatoes, and asparagus, I noticed that Jean had left her seat. She had gone to Noah’s plate to help him cut his roast. I watched as she carefully, and silently, cut each piece until there was nothing but small bite sized pieces left on the plate. She returned to her seat and began eating herself. A simple gesture, but one thick with care and love. To see Noah’s plate, to know the roast wasn’t going to work and then to gently take the time to slice it-even with the aroma of her own food ready to eat-is striking!
Just the week before Jean had shared some of her experiences living in a violent institution before coming to L’Arche during an interview with StoryCorps. The effects of the institution were long lasting on her. But in the simplicity of living in community, the seeds of transformation are taking root. The same seeds that are at work in me. Being at that dinner table changes me. I’m reminded not to take myself too seriously, to take more time for conversations (silly ones too!), and am reminded of the beauty each person holds. I often leave our L’Arche homes with a certain “full” feeling. Full of the joy of relationship. And I’m grateful for relationships beyond our home, relationships like ours with you.
Thank you for welcoming L’Arche into your life!
(This article was in our Summer 2015 issue of Two by Two, our twice a year publication highlighting the L'Arche Life in Chicago. Don't get the Two by Two? Subscribe today to have it delivered right to your door twice a year.)
We have a goal to raise $32,000 over the next 6 months.
This amount will cover gap between the actual cost of care and the amount reimbursed to us by the state for 2 core members for a year! You can be a part of the incredible impact on the lives of vulnerable adults and their families!
Here are 3 ways you can help us meet this goal:
An anonymous foundation has pledged to match any new online donation for a year (up to $10,000!) If someone pledges $25 a month ($300 annual), the foundation will match it with a $300 contribution!
- $10 a month ($120) provides access to advocacy conferences for a community member
- $20 a month ($240) covers meals out for a year for a core member
- $30 a month ($360) allows a community member to attend a retreat sponsored by L'Arche USA
- $50 a month ($600) provides groceries and supplies for two community members for a month
- $100 a month ($1,200) funds the gap between state funding and the actual medical expenses for ALL core members for a YEAR!