Tiny Miracles

“If we’re only open from 9 am- 1 pm every day, let’s make it the best 4 hours we can.  I want to serve breakfast and lunch every day.”

– Me, day 1 as Love Wins CEC Executive Director

(Miracles, please don’t fail me now.)

When I said that, Hugh cautioned me: “Now you know if we promise this and we can’t deliver, we’re assholes.”

I believe in a series of small miracles.  I see no less than 4 miracles a day. Truthfully, I think some are karmic in nature, but I think that’s what praying and communion truly are- energy put out into the world and returned.

I have faith that we can feed people every day.

I fearlessly believe in tiny miracles, and I push them around with my pointer finger and a social media account.   I’m happy to report that we have fed people every day that we’ve been open this month, both breakfast and lunch.  I’m proud to say that our community members, when given the tools, step up to feed one another and the result is a communion of fellowship and friendship.

My background is, educationally, in Horticultural Science, specifically fruit and vegetable production.  I found my way to this major because I love to feed people.  Occupationally, it is Hospitality Services; food and beverage while making people feel at home.  My private life is a mix of these two things; playing “Iron Chef” with whatever I can grow in my garden.

I can scan a fridge, freezer and cabinet and somehow make food, a skill that was strongly influenced by my mother, youthful poverty, and a very elderly Puerto-Rican woman who I made friends with when I was 19 years old that simply went by “Mami”.  She spoke no English and could make food out of anything on a budget of almost nothing.  She taught me to see every small ingredient as simply a piece to a larger thing and watching her cook created the basis of how I began to think of the utilization of food.

Hospitality people know other hospitality people.  They’re the best people to know if you happen to run a place of hospitality.  I’m rich in hospitality friends:  chefs, bartenders, servers, managers, restaurant owners, former restaurant owners, really good cooks, folks who makes good barbecue at the neighborhood cookouts.

Over the last month, these friends have stepped up to fill in the gaps and provide us with what we need to serve breakfast and lunch every day.  I always tell folks that here in Raleigh, we’re spoiled with amazing restaurants.  Those restaurants are owned by amazing people.

Miracles are created in a pot using gifted potatoes and onions, spices donated from a local grocery store, some herbs grown in our yard, and chicken stock from yesterday’s meal.  A pot of miracles contains no less than 4 smaller miracles stirred with a wooden spoon that was found inside of a flower pot, nestled next to a sweater and an old book on the stoop next to the center door (making it technically no less than 5 smaller miracles, if miracles are allowed to be repeated in spoon form).  Repeat this several times, throw in a surprise volunteer, a pair of shoes just the right size, $10 showing up when we were $10 short and there’s 4 tiny miracles.

They’re karmic in nature because of the love and community that went into the pot, fed the people and provided the energy that then returned in the form of say, paper towels.  If you’ve never seen tiny miracles, please come volunteer with us for a day.  You’ll see no less than 4, I promise.

Author: MaRanda Kiser

Food is my love language- it's how I express love into the world.