They keep us warm, too. Have you ever been cold? When you’re
cold, it is hard to think about anything else besides getting warm.
That’s why blankets are such wonderful things. You can wrap
yourself up, getting warm and cozy. Here’s a story about my
friend Maria and her family, who got blankets when they really needed
Salazar and her family drove home in a covered pickup truck. They
were returning from the north where her parents had worked in the
fields picking produce all summer long. Mama and Papa rode in the
cab with her baby sister. Maria and her six brothers and sisters
crowded in the back of the truck with all of their belongings. Maria
looked forward to coming home to south Texas. The best part was
going back to school. She liked to study.
Once they got to their colonia, or neighborhood, they saw their
house with its two rooms and no indoor bathroom. Now that it was
winter, the house would be cold, especially at night when the wind
blew in through the cracks around the windows and doors. Maria knew
that at night, they would need to huddle together in two beds pushed
together to stay warm. Though there was a small heater in one of
the rooms, it didn’t make much difference.
After getting home, Maria and her brothers who were old enough
went back to school and to doing homework. Sometimes that was very
hard. Because there were only two rooms, they had to do their homework
before the younger children went to bed. Sometimes Maria was just
too tired to think because her house was too cold for her to sleep.
One cold day last January, Maria’s family went to the local
church food pantry to get food. This day there was a wonderful surprise.
Besides food, the Salazar family were given blankets from Church
World Service! Now, Maria has a blanket all her own, so on cold
nights she can put her blanket over her shoulders when she does
her homework. And, she goes to sleep warmed by her blanket and the
love of those who made it possible.
Sometimes the most ordinary things are the very things most
needed by someone else — blankets, tools, safe water to drink,
a house to live in. Extending ourselves to others — sticking
our necks out — not only helps others, it also gives our life
more meaning, more joy!