Volume 34, No. 10
Saddling Up Anyway
During a recent conversation, church member and dear friend, Carol Barger, reminded me of a John Wayne quote – “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”
It feels as if we need a lot of courage in this time. Dallas County just recently hit its highest single day record for the number of people who have died from the coronavirus. That’s pretty scary stuff, especially for those of us with loved ones in the hospital. Royal Lane and the Reopening Task Force are taking a conservative approach to opening back up as it has always been the mission of our church to take care of the vulnerable. We are in no rush to bring people back into a shared, communal space for worship and fellowship.
However, although our building is closed, the church as a helping people is still wide open. In this time, people are hungry and they are scared that they cannot feed their kids. Faith communities and faithful people have an opportunity to respond. And so, a local restaurant owner and an Imam have come together to “saddle up” and make sure everyone eats. My brother-friend, Imam Azhar Subedar, of the Islamic Association of Collin County Plano Masjid and Ram Mehta, the owner of In-Fretta Pizza and Pasta in Plano, saw the hunger in our communities and it scared them. Those on the edge of poverty are having to choose between paying rent or putting dinner on the table. These two friends, a Sikh and a Muslim, had the courage to remedy one of those choices. They decided that everyone eats. They decided to begin distributing thousands of free meals to anyone who needed it.
Everyone Eatz is the name of the organization they created in response to the onset of poverty during the pandemic. So far, they have distributed over 60,000 meals. And Everyone Eatz makes sure that EVERYONE can eat as your skin color, nationality, immigration status, financial situation, or religious beliefs shouldn’t stop you from getting food for your family. Ram has volunteers begin at 2 AM on food distribution days in order to hand out prepared dinners to waiting individuals.
Our congregation at Royal Lane is proud to partner with Everyone Eatz in an interfaith food distribution day as we hope to supply a record breaking 10,000 meals on Memorial Day to those in need. Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Unitarians, and those with no religious beliefs will gather at Royal Lane alongside law enforcement, politicians, and sports figures to distribute thousands of meals to hungry people in Dallas. We will of course wear proper protective equipment and socially distance ourselves. In order to provide these free meals, Everyone Eatz must raise $30,000 at $3 a meal. If you would like to contribute to this venture, you can give to Royal Lane online or by check with Everyone Eatz as the designation.
For faith leaders and faithful people during this time, many of us are indeed scared and worried. We are worried that people do not have enough to eat. Yet, we at Royal Lane are honored to participate with Everyone Eatz as we all seek to have the courage to saddle up and produce a miracle during these scary days, one meal at a time.