It was ravioli day and the aroma of tomatoes and garlic mixed with Elmer’s Glue, old sneakers and sweat. It woke me up for sure.
The second grade came in first. Little soldiers all standing at attention. They picked up their trays and headed to their assigned tables. Each round table had eight round stools attached to it. But two little girls ran to one stool and shared it. After all, you have to eat lunch with your BFF. If there is not an extra seat – you simply share.
Some dug into their food right away and red tomato sauce mustaches with beards instantly became in style. Others didn’t care about the food. It was chat time. The noise level rose multiple decibels.
I saw other Lunch Buddies enter the room. It was as if Rock Stars had just stepped into the audience.
When lunch was over the soldiers became skippers and joggers and dancers on their way to recess.
Then the first grade came in and the process started all over. Next the third grade took their turn. Within an hour, all of the children had been fed and were out the door. Then the room was quiet. It looked a little like “The Day After”. I sat there for a moment. I knew in that one hour there had been lives touched. Children had shared stories of movies they had watched, games they had played, books they had read. There were secrets whispered, hands held, tears wipes, fights stopped, hugs given…all in the span of one hour. It is an entire world all on its own. Every emotion life can give us is available in the cafeteria of an elementary school.
It’s not just ‘lunch’ – – it’s ‘life’. I don’t want to miss it.
Lunch Buddies experience life roughly 18 hours a school year through one-to-one attention. They are joining God in His work….one heart at a time.