"Jane, two people have canceled out on me today, people that said they'd work in the church clothes closet. I'm having such a hard time getting people to help there. We're always open from 1 to 5 on Wednesdays, and I'm afraid if we're not open today, somebody might be left in the lurch. I'd just hate that."
I felt my level of irritation rising. This was what turned some people off about Emma. She was always thinking that is we didn't do enough to help the sick, the less fortunate, the homeless in our town, something awful was going to happen.
Like her comment just now - somebody might be left in a lurch. So what if someone wasn't able to find clothing for her family this week at our church's free clothes closet? Would the world come to a screeching halt? Would it really make any difference at all in the long run?
Besides, how much good did Emma's clothes-closet, food-pantry, and sleeping hall projects really accomplish anyway? When push came to shove, weren't they like a finger in the dike of poverty and hopelessness? Wasn't it childishly naive to think you could do anybody and real, lasting good that way?
"Oh, Emma, I don't know....." I began, groping in my mind for a decent excuse. But for the life of me, I couldn't come up with one on the spur of the moment. I finished with a resigned sigh. "Oh, all right. But I'll have to bring the girls with me. When do you want us?
A few minutes before 1 o'clock, I found myself unlocking the door to the large room that housed Emma's clothes closet. My girls peeked eagerly around me.
"Wow, stuff here sure is old," Susan observed with a wrinkle of her nose.
"Well, of course, things are a little old Susan. Everything here was donated by someone, and everything has been used before. But I think all the clothing is in good condition and certainly clean with lots of wear left in it."
Kathy, meanwhile, darted happily from the coat racks to the dress corner to the children's section, oohing and aahing over everything she came across.
"Mommy, Mommy! Look at these! Magic slippers just like Dorothy wore in Oz!"
Kathy held up a pair of red pumps from the shoe racks, her eyes round as bright quarters.
"My, how pretty," I agreed sincerely. The shoes hardly looked worn and were, indeed, of very expensive soft leather.
Susan rolled her eyes. "Kathy, grow up. There's no such place as Oz and no such thing as magic slippers. Those are just some dumb, old shoes somebody rich got tired of or something."
"But they're glimmering!" Kathy insisted.
to be continued......