During one summer while I was in the college seminary I worked on the line packing books for Harcourt, Brace & World. Jimmy Jones worked next to me and he kept inviting and challenging me to come and have dinner with him and his family on a Sunday afternoon. He lived in the Henry Horner Apartments in one of the worst neighborhoods on the West Side of the city of Chicago. He kept badgering me to come, knowing that I never would because not many white people ventured into that neighborhood in the turbulent mid-60’s.
One summer afternoon I decided to go. I did not tell Jimmy that I was coming. I would just knock on his door and surprise him. I got off the bus and when I looked around I was scared. Bottles and trash were everywhere. There was a din of noise from the children running around the outer hallways of the 15-story buildings. I prayed a deep prayer and walked to the elevator. I got off on Jimmy’s floor, went to his apartment and knocked on his door.
When he opened it and saw me standing there, I thought he was going to faint. He immediately invited me in and introduced me to his lovely wife and two little children. Their apartment was very nice. They were about to eat and they immediately invited me to join them. His wife passed around the food. There was a very small steak that looked like it would hardly be a mouthful for Jimmy to devour. He knew I had glanced at its lack of size. He then said something to me that I have remembered and meditated on for over fifty-five years:
“We don’t have much, but the little we have, we share!”
Early in my life I learned: The more we share…..the more we have!