Thank God for interruptions.
The plumbing emergency that shut down our kitchen in September was very disruptive. We had to change up our usual flow and pull out the paper plates to enable meal service on Wednesdays and Sundays to continue.
Seven meals without a kitchen to cook in. There were a thousand questions and new decisions to make, like: When Corner Kitchen brings box lunches should the cookies be individually wrapped or served on platters? How many grills do you need to cook 500 hamburgers in three hours? What pizza toppings does everybody like?
There were highs and there were lows.
For me personally, the best thing about it was the extra time I spent lingering by the back door and around the picnic tables. I spent several hours out there each week talking to folks about the plumbing problems and the meal plan for that day. I got to know people I’ve seen for years at Haywood Street but only ever exchanged hellos with. While waiting for lunch we chatted about favorite foods, hometowns, pets, hurricanes, trips to the beach, you name it. We laughed and talked and enjoyed each others’ company.
On the first week the plumbing was out, several people told me they heard our kitchen was torn apart but came anyway for social reasons; to catch up with friends.
The plumbing problems completely disrupted our schedule and plans but they were also a source of unexpected joy. They fostered the deepening of community that we all crave; and enabled us to form new relationships. We now have six food truck vendors participating with the Chefs@Downtown Welcome Table coalition. How cool is that?
Thank God for interruptions. Help us to be open to the opportunities and new life they contain. Amen.