“The Greatest disease in the West Today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little LOVE.” ~Mother Teresa
According to Mother Teresa, the Saint from Calcutta, the worst diseases plaguing humankind are isolation, loneliness, and feeling unloved. Not AIDS…Not Cancer…Not Leprosy… (Probably not Covid-19 either)
During her lifetime, Mother Teresa strove to Love the lowliest, Uplift the downtrodden, and Care for the sickest among us. Her actions demonstrated a faith and belief that every human is born with inherent Value and deserves to be Loved. When it comes to Covid-19, Mother Teresa likely would have reminded us that everyone needs to feel Community and Love and Acceptance. This was hard to do during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though Stay-at-Home orders and 10-day quarantines are behind us, there’s still an uneasiness when we encounter other humans face-to-face, especially at large events, community gatherings.
The lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic go far beyond the individual health effects. In Lansing, we still have hundreds of brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness, for many reasons, including a lack of affordable housing and too few shelter beds. As a result of this pandemic, isolation and loneliness are spreading unabated, especially among the most vulnerable members of our city. In our current political, economic, and social environment, individuals experiencing homelessness don’t stand a chance. Every shelter in the Greater Lansing area is looking for volunteers and staff to support their missions now that Coronavirus funds are drying up and safety net programs are going away. Something needs to change.
Let’s refocus and compassionately embrace those individuals too weak to cry out for companionship, conversation, and connection. Mother Teresa’s warning about the dangers of loneliness and our need to support one another are more important today than ever before. Mother Teresa washed the sores of Lepers and welcomed people with AIDS when they were shunned by the rest of the world. She identified people and places with the greatest needs and knew those were her people to love, and those were the places her ministry needed to be involved. If she could do all that, we must continue advocating, fighting, and giving a voice to individuals and families experiencing the trauma of homelessness, especially now.
The Loaves and Fishes Ministries’ mission, our inspirations, and the reasons for continuing the advocacy of individuals experiencing homelessness has been overshadowed by Covid-19 procedures and protocols these last few years. We continue to mitigate the risks, while fully acknowledging continued concerns regarding COVID-19. It is time to bring attention back to our purpose and mission: Loving the Unloved, Caring for the ignored, Nurturing the neediest, and Restoring Hope to those less fortunate.
The need at L&F is greater than ever! We have lots of work to do!
Come join us in our mutual labor of Love!
Jesus is the Love – to be loved.
Jesus is the Joy – to be shared.
Jesus is the Sacrifice – to be offered.
Jesus is the Peace – to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life – to be eaten.
Jesus is the Hungry – to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty – to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked – to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless – to be taken in.
Jesus is the Sick – to be healed.
Jesus is the Lonely – to be loved.
Jesus is the Unwanted – to be wanted.
Jesus is the Leper – to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar – to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard – to listen to him.
Jesus is the Retarded – to protect him.
Jesus is the Little One – to embrace him.
Jesus is the Blind – to lead him.
Jesus is the Dumb – to speak for him.
Jesus is the Crippled – to walk with him.
Jesus is the Drug addict – to befriend him.
Jesus is the Prostitute – to remove from danger and befriend.
Jesus is the Prisoner – to be visited.
Jesus is the Old – to be served