There's absolutely no doubt we've got way more food than we need in our house. Sure, on Day 5 of the grocery store fast, the fridge is getting kind of empty, and the perishables are perishing. But the pantry and freezer are still way full. One of the kids said we should just keep going and see how long we can hold out. So we have too much food. So what? Eat it up and get over it already!
And if I just stay here in my neighborhood, it's not a big deal. There are plenty of people around here with way more than my way more.
But if I drive up to church, it's another story. Because we live in the 'burbs. But we go to church in the inner city. You can hardly get there from here, without driving past somebody standing by the road with a sign in their hand, asking for food.
We as a family have had to think about what we're going to do about this. It seems bad to drive past these folks on the way to church. That whole Good Samaritan thing bites. We get the feeling we're supposed to do SOMETHING, if we don't want to end up on the wrong end of the story.
The other day, I was in a conversation with somebody about selfishness. Really trying to pick apart what makes us able to stop the selfishness train and disembark.
And for me, anyway, part of the deep-down problem when I'm being selfish is a fear that there isn't going to be enough. Not enough money, not enough time, not enough attention, not enough whatever. So I can't let go of what I'm holding onto, because if I do--I won't have enough.
But then, when I give, it often feels like it won't be enough for the other person. My drop in the bucket feels useless against the tide of homelessness and abuse and addiction and pain.
The more I look at this, the more I think that my problem is that it's all about me. I'm selfish so I'm guilty, or I'm giving so I'm self-satisfied. For just a minute. Until I start to feel guilty and worried again. Am I still too selfish? Did I do enough?
I have been thinking about what the Apostle John said. That we love because He loved us first. It's not about me and what I do or don't do. Whether I am enough or not. It's about God and what He has done and will do. He is enough. It is finished.
Rivers of living water.
Not just for the moment of salvation, but for the moment I make eye contact with the guy on the corner with the sign in his hand.
We used to keep all our spare change in baggies and hand it out the window. Then I started volunteering with folks in that neighborhood and one of my friends told me about his panhandling days, the stories he'd tell, and the drug dealer he'd call when he got 10 bucks together.
So now we keep packaged peanut butter crackers in the car. We like this because we can make eye contact, say hello, and give the person something from our hands, to say that we do care.
Also, I can keep doing this. It works for me. It's sustainable.
Now, until I lived in Dallas and went to church in the 'hood, I wouldn't have had a clue where to find hungry people. So if you live in the country or deep in the 'burbs, and you'd like to share with the hungry, here's my favorite place: the Well Community.
Please go visit and see what they're about. I can double-dog guarantee you that these guys are solid gold and legit.