397. Beautiful People Part Three
I phone the next client, in the next block of flats, again to collect his electricity card, again, he doesn’t have one, just the piece of paper, again I hand over a big bundle of duvets, and having done so, there is now room in the car for the shopping.
I’m running behind schedule, but this job isn’t about maximising the number of people I can see in a day, it’s about giving whatever I can to each one of them.
All the people I’m visiting today are new to the service, they all got in touch the previous week after 250 cards were put through letterboxes in the towers. As it’s a new area, and new people, I don’t know them, and I don’t know the area, or where to get the top ups. I try a local post office, they don’t do these kind, it’s Paypoint. I set off and soon find myself pulling into Tescos, and ask if they do electricity top ups. They don’t, but it occurs to me to get the shopping whilst I’m here, Aldi is cheaper but some way away, and I am where I am. I get 2 baskets and put them in a deep trolley, to make it easier to shop for both households. I go round the shop, Beautiful People by Ed Sheeran is playing on the PA. It usually makes me cry, that song.
That’s who I’m dealing with today. Beautiful people.
No one can see it, especially not themselves, but only the Lord can see it, and today I can too.
I chat with the guy on the checkout, explaining I usually shop at Aldi, because it’s cheaper, but Aldi doesn’t reciprocate in any way, and it’s to support people. He suggests I talk to the manager, and calls her over, and I explain what EthicalMuch does, and perhaps Tesco can help. We have a good conversation, and I show her the website on my phone, and all the photos of Aldi bags on doorsteps, hundreds of them. She tells me her manager will be in touch on Friday.
I muse at the diversity of this job. Half an hour ago I was listening to a suicidal woman suffering in mind, body and soul, now I’m talking advertising with the shift manager at Tescos. And I still need to find where to get these electricity accounts topped up. I know there’s a place behind the Arts tower, so head there, queue, and get £25 put on each.
I drive back, and give the Saudi Arabian girl her letter back, she texts to remind me just as I pull up. Actually my phone has been ringing every ten minutes with people asking if I’m still coming. Maybe, I don’t know. I call the lady down for her shopping, she’s still very upset, her partner comes down with her, this is interesting, I think. I’ve bought a bunch of flowers included in her shopping. I give them to him, and tell him to give them to her. He does, and she’s transformed, for a moment, she can’t believe I’ve got her flowers. She goes upstairs to get a jacket, and I have a few minutes alone with her partner. He’s in a similar state to her, he tells me about his mental problems, serious, and his prison history, he wants everything to change, he wants to change his life. I pray with him, a serious prayer. And I listen, and tell him I understand, and I tell him to take care of his partner, to be a man, to love one another. He wants to come to Church on Sunday, I tell him it’s closed, but to pray anyway.
She comes back down, and I tell her she can call me anytime.
I’ve done what I can do for now, I’m going to keep in touch with them, with her especially, over the next few days and weeks, she tells me the police know about the situation, it’s complicated, I don’t know what else to do, but I’ll ask my friend for advice.
I head down the road to the next tower, and deliver the three shopping bags to the young man, telling him we can do the same once a month. He’s very happy.
My phone goes flat, and I’m pleased. It’s nearly 4 and I have a zoom meeting on the hour.
I’ve done half the deliveries on the schedule, I’ll text everyone and let them know I’ll come tomorrow.
Which I will, in the morning. After I’ve been to Aldi. Then I’ll spend the afternoon calling on the people I’ve given brochures to, asking them to support EthicalMuch. I wish they could see what I see. How it really is.
This is my day. It’s how it goes. Raise money. Help the people. Raise more. Help more.
Beautiful people give. Beautiful people receive.
And I am blessed to be in the middle.
I see so much of humanity. And on days like today, through the eyes of Divinity, a glimpse of the Compassion of the Christ.
Thank you to Jim for donating £150. The £50 went on electricity top ups for two people. The food shopping at Tescos cost £44.46 and £42.07 totalling £136.53. Enough left for another £15 electricity for someone. Or maybe a food parcel from Aldi.