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Thought for the Week by Lucy McKitterick of King's Lynn Night Shelter

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The Night Shelter closed last Thursday for summer maintenance and around 7pm I found myself on the way to drop off one of our guests in a hostel in Hunstanton and two others in the Tesco car park at their request with a couple of tents and sleeping bags.

Our efforts to find them somewhere to live had failed and here they were with nowhere to go.

Off we went and as we turned on to the A149 they all started to sing – “Don’t worry, Lucy, everything’s going to be all right …”

An event on Saturday, June 4 to mark the new Jubilee memorial garden at Lynn's Night Shelter.
An event on Saturday, June 4 to mark the new Jubilee memorial garden at Lynn's Night Shelter.

Now I’ve heard a lot of “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” while in the Freebridge phone queue lately (it plays the Beatles in a loop as you might know) but this was a new one on me. You don’t spend time with the homeless without being given quite a bit to think about and as I went carefully past the various speed cameras I thought, what an amazing response.

The last day of the Night Shelter season is always the hardest day of the year. I dearly hope we won’t have to close for the summer again, though that depends on funding and the generosity of a lot of people in the months ahead. But the unanswered question of where some of the guests on our last day will sleep that night is mirrored by the question of where our money is to come from – like most charities we don’t operate with a lot of reserves.

Some weeks ago we had a very busy evening when a lot of people with no home of their own all came to the door asking for something to eat. Our kind volunteers gave away what we had and I wondered how we would feed our guests the next day as we don’t have a food budget. I put a begging message on Facebook and by the end of the next day the kitchen was full to bursting.

“Do not be anxious about what you will eat, or what you will wear,” says Jesus, “your heavenly Father knows you need these things.” We’re sometimes given encouragement by the most unexpected people and perhaps that new song number in the car had as much to say about fundraising and paying bills as it did about two people who have been through some terrible trauma bravely facing a night again with nowhere to stay.

You see the next line in that Gospel story is “seek first his kingdom, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Which is perhaps another way of saying what the world can be like when we are generous with what we have, when we help people who need us: when we give away all the food in the cupboard, only to find we have more than we can store.

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