We had been talking at church about how to address the many areas of violence in our neighborhood. Several of us have noticed 3 or 4 barely teenagers who have started hanging out and selling drugs on the corner. Our pastor asked how we could start interacting with them in a way that reached out to them in a way to say "we know what you are doing and if you want to talk about it let me know..." I answered, "I could make them muffins." Cause that is what I do...I bake for people...but on the other hand, I was sort of joking. Well, the group thought that was a fantastic idea. So, here is what I sent in an email as a report. This happened several weeks ago, I just want to remember it - so this is where I put that kind of stuff.
"We tried the experiment tonight. I made cookies, I figured they would be more appealing than muffins, and Jim and I went out to give them to the kids on the corner. There were two kids. To be honest, we had no idea what to say. I was thankful that we had cookies – at least we could offer the cookies – if nothing else worked. Here is how it went…
Krista: “Hi guys!”
Kids looked at us.
Jim: “Aren’t you guys a bit cold?”
Kids looked at us.
Krista: I made cookies this evening; I was wondering if you wanted some?
Kids smiled at us, and looked at each other.
Krista: I unwrapped the foil so they could see…”they are peanut butter chocolate chip”
Kids laughed and kept smiling.
Krista: “They are all yours, here you go.”
Kid #1: No thanks, maam.
Jim: “Really? You don’t want cookies, I mean I just had like 6 while they were baking…they are great!”
Kid #2: No thanks, man.
Jim: Ok – we’ll just find someone at the church to give them too..
Krista: Well, take care of yourselves tonight.
We went and dropped off the computer in the church, and I left the cookies on faith house steps in case they were watching and wanted them but didn’t want to take them from me directly. They were still there when I got back. Jim couldn’t believe that any kid would turn down cookies. Frankly, I wasn’t that surprised. I mean, you aren’t supposed to take food from strangers.
Jim wants me to mention that he thinks it would cool if we started as a church to bring them something every night, I think we will try to at least go and say hi once a week.
The story doesn’t end there, and that is what is the great part for me. So, I made these full of fat cookies (Jim’s comment was these are no Krista cookies) that we didn’t need to eat…I felt we had to give them away. I didn’t make them for me, I made them for someone else. So, we gave them to Leola, our downstairs neighbor. I was more nervous about offering them to her than I was the kids. Jim kept asking why and I really don’t know. But, I have been thinking for months I wanted to bake for my in house neighbors and just hadn’t gotten around to it. We had a nice conversation and it had nothing to do with the plumbing or the electric or anything else. That may be worth it for me – starting to develop better relationships with our neighbors so that eventually I will know those kids, and maybe they eventually will take our cookies."