Two LAMP Missionaries were serving at our LAMP Café ministry on a beautiful late summer New York day. At first glance, the scene looks familiar—the same location, the same silver Café truck, a long line of our brothers and sisters hungry for food and especially hungry for God. But this is God’s ministry so no day is ever mundane. It is always fresh, always new.
Marco wouldn’t come close to the truck.
“Can we talk over here, away from the truck?” He asked as Mary approached him to talk and offer to pray with him.
“I don’t want to stand too close because I smell bad. I know that it’s not nice to be around me because I smell. No one wants me around.” He said this softly, his eyes cast down.
Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society—completely forgotten, completely left alone… -Mother Teresa
Marco is bound by the chains of alcoholism. The missionaries sat and listened to his story. Mary, a LAMP Missionary, recounts their conversation.
“He was crying and explaining that we don’t understand addiction. I said that he was right, I don’t know what drug/alcohol addiction is like but I can still feel for him. I struggle with other things, as all of us do.” When we serve the poor, many times, we cannot heal them from their sickness or take away their pain. We can simply be there with them as a testimony that God loves them in the midst of it all.
Standing at the cross of Jesus was his mother…(John 19:25)
“He shared how he doesn’t want to drink but feels like he has to. I gave him a small Divine Mercy image explaining the mercy of Jesus and how that mercy can give him the freedom he is aching for.”
Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great. (2 Samuel 12:14)
The conversation came to a close and they all prayed together.
“I thank God for sending me beautiful people like you” Marco said through tear filled eyes.
Mary, recognizing the beautiful face of our suffering Christ as He endured His passion in this man’s suffering face, replied under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
“I thank God for sending me a beautiful person like you.” And she meant it.