On January 9th, 2017 just before meal-time, a gunman opened fire in Our Daily Bread. It was an act of domestic violence, pre-meditated and horrifying. He killed a young man and injured a young woman, then turned himself peacefully in to the police. By grace, no one else was harmed, but the shooting terrified our guests, volunteers, and staff.
What do you do when the world turns mean?
Shortly after the shooting, Our Daily Bread’s team met with the police trauma unit. The counselor helped us put some things in perspective: This was an isolated occurrence; It did not change the core of who we are or what we do; It will not define our family, or break our love for each other and the community; And the best tip of all – if your mind can’t stop playing out the bad parts, keep playing it until you get to the good part. And there is a good part.
You are the good part.
You were the ones who reached out with care and concern. You were the ones who helped us rebuild. You were the ones who came back the next day . . . and the next . . . and the next. You provided concrete comfort and spiritual comfort. You helped us see a future that looks exactly like our past – filled with love, service and community.
From volunteer construction workers, to the police who were “just doing their jobs,” to the folks in other soup kitchens who cooked double the week we were closed, to the volunteers who helped us reopen our doors, and to the donors who provided the means to help us move forward -- everyone brought their own gifts to this terrible situation.
So what do you do when the world turns mean?
You do what Cookie taught us.
You look for the light that lives in every heart. You smile. You serve. You link hands a little tighter. You pray. You eat. You laugh. And then you get back to work and build a better future, together. Because our guests also came back. Each and every one of them - they all came home.
Thank you for all you do to make Our Daily Bread a place of safety and love.