By Jordan Loe, Volunteer in Spokane
By the time Thanksgiving comes around, many students feel overworked and ready for a break. They are tired of their studies and need some time to simply be with family. Heart’s Home St. Ignatius decided to have a Thanksgiving dinner at our house to welcome all of the students who might be unable to go home and have this experience. We extended an open invitation to the community, expecting a large group of people. However, we found that when the day arrived and the turkey had been cooked, only a handful of our closest friends came. At first, we were a little surprised; we had hoped that many would attend, especially those who were relatively unfamiliar with our home. We thought that the dinner would bring us some new friends who could discover the love and warmth that Heart’s Home has to offer. However, when we were surrounded by the same familiar faces that often pray, eat, and laugh with us, we realized that those that had come were exactly they who needed to be with us at that time: they are our family!
Sometimes it is easy to forget that the friends that we see all of the time are an essential part of our life. Surely, we desire to invite new people to our home so that they can share in our community. We have to remind ourselves, though, what Heart’s Home truly means: a place where people who are lonely can go to find friends who welcome them always and love them like family. We experience their sorrows and their jubilation with them, and we remind them that they are not alone. As we prayed together after dinner and shared what made us most thankful, we realized that these close friends are the ones who have found Christ’s love through our home and have returned again and again so that they might continually experience that love. They are why we do what we do each day; they are our family.