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October 7, 2018: A Short Trip with a Big Impact

by Greg Lebel


Since my election as junior warden coincided with my retirement from the faculty at George Washington University, I've had the opportunity to be on site at All Souls at least one day a week doing "junior warden stuff." On many occasions, I've noticed Father Jadon in his office or the small meeting room talking with someone I didn't recognize. These are offten people who found us in some way and came to ask for prayers, counsel, and/or financial help. Father Jadon, if he chooses, can turn to the Rector's Discretionary Fund to provide short-term relief while recommending other longer-term resources. This fund is used exclusively for charitable support.

A couple of weeks ago, Father Jadon asked me if I might have time to accompany a young gentleman with whom he had been talking to the Metro station to add some money onto his SmarTrip card. I agreed, so he introduced me to Noel and handed me the church credit card. As Noel and I walked down the block, we got to know each other a little bit. Noel told me that he is from Honduras and has been looking for a job here for some time. Evidently, he has visited Father Jadon before to ask for prayer and also some help. On this day, he was excited that he had just landed a job as a busboy at a restaurant in Montgomery County. I told him I had bussed tables myself while working my way through college. Noel was scheduled to begin work that evening, but didn't have enough money for bus fare to get to the restaurant for his shift. So, remembering the kindness he had found here before, he turned again to All Souls for help.

We got to the Woodley Park station and added some money to his card. He thanked me profusely, and I felt at that moment a sense of gratitude myself for the people of All Souls who, through their generosity, had made this simple act of kindness possible--not just with the relatively minor bus fare, but with all that is done and given to make seven days of ministry happen here each week.

Noel and I left the station and crossed Connecticut Avenue, and as we were about to head our separate ways, I wished him luck and he said, "I'll pray for all of you." I responded that I would pray for him as well. And I realized as I walked up the street that Noel and the many others like him are a small, unknown, but important part of the tapestry that is All Souls. What a blessing!

Last Published: October 4, 2018 1:21 PM
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