One of my favorite moments from this past Saturday’s Coat Lunch, where we had the privilege and opportunity to build relationships with folks in our city who are in need, was the story of Lisa and Ruthie.
I sat down next to Lisa, her mom and her sister. Lisa told me that she is 12 years old and originally from the Philippines. They were desiring a warm meal and a warm coat as they didn’t have the means to purchase a warm winter coat. I asked her where she went to school, and she told me that she is in 6th grade at the same school as Ruthie. I told her that a friend of mine, Ruthie, who is here today, also goes to her school. Lisa mentioned that she thinks she knows Ruthie. “Would you like me to bring her over”, I said. She said she wasn’t sure, as she was embarrassed that she was at an event for people in need looking to get a coat, and didn’t want someone from her school to see her. I could see the sadness in her eyes as she told me this. I told her that she does not need to be embarrased at all as all of us are in need in so many different ways.
A few minutes later, Ruthie went over to her table and the two began to talk. Ruthie asked Lisa if she wanted to help her in the kitchen and together the two of them spent the next hour talking, serving, and getting to know one another. It was SUCH a cool moment to see two middle schoolers (a very awkward time in life!) engage one another, reach out and genuinely begin to care for each other. It brought tears to my eyes to see these two begin a friendship.
I’m so thankful for this community of young and old, white and brown, seeking to love one another with care, humility, and understanding for those in our city. Thank you Ruthie and Lisa for exampling love to us.