I praise God the happy, cherub faces surrounding my breakfast bar have never known true hunger. Their little bellies are round, their bodies spry with a flush of energy as they snack on fruit and whole grain cereal. They chatter, their mouths half-full (a hard-to-break-habit) and they tease one another, aware of a full summer ahead. But asI praise God for the freedom these few are enjoying, I think of those who live down the street who look with fear at the coming summer. Free and reduced price lunches through the public school will be gone, and in many cases the neglected or impoverished children of my small town could go hungry.
A short while back my family and friends began a journey praying for the impoverished of the world. God used that journey to convict not only if what I can and should do for children and families around the world, but for those I live among. My Sunday school class voted to do something big, much bigger than we are capable of doing on our own and one by one people have joined us in a commitment to give all we can as we plead for God to show up BIG. Once a week, those work during the day will prepare meals at our church. The following morning, those of us free will take the meals to the local park and host a picnic with games, fun, and a huge helping of love. We recognize the most important need in most of the lives in our community consists of a need for the Savior’s love. The physical hunger is present, but a deep yearning to be loved, wanted, and accepted surrounds many of the little ones I meet.
We can choose to hide inside a building we call the church or we can embrace this calling together and be the church. My children are thrilled to go, not just to share food, but to put their faith in action. I know that the summer will be hot and difficult, the enemy will try to sow disunity among us and present a slew of scheduling issues. I know finances and budgets may get tight and our enthusiasm may wane BUT I serve a great, big God who knows all these things. I pray He will keep us in His will, obediently following His lead. I pray families will come to a saving knowledge of His grace, that my children’s faith will grow, that other local congregations (one already has!) will come alongside us if they feel led to… I am so unworthy to participate in this amazing mission. I simply pray He will be glorified no matter the cost!
For further meditation: Matthew 25:31-46