I just left a luncheon which our church hosted for the Career Transition Support Groups in the greater Memphis area. All of these groups are led by volunteers who are trying to help other people during that difficult time of being between jobs. Almost all of the groups meet at area churches (and one synagogoue).
I am proud that the faith community opens its doors and facilities to provide a place for these people to receive guidance, support and make connections. I think that is love in action. It also reminds me that while the anti-Christian folks yammer on and on about how destructive people of faith are, there are no Agnostic Centers or Atheist Temples popping up to do the sort of thing that we do all the time. (okay, enough venting)
Following the point of yesterday's blog, I am struck by how little we need to do to make an impact. We open our doors. We provide food and drink. I offer counseling support. Some of our members pop in with little treats for the group. And every time I go there are a bunch of folks who feel compelled to say thank you to me and the parish. They are genuinely appreciative because it makes a difference for them.
Leveraging resources means that sometimes a little bit becomes a lot. On Super Bowl weekend we had buckets out. I asked our folks to toss in the cost of a bag of chips. We will all be eating and drinking while the game is on so who will notice a few extra bucks. Well, at last count we raised about $1800 dollars. That is serious money which we gave to the local Food Pantry. Everyone chips in a little and you get alot. Awesome. Sort of like that boy with a few fish and some bread. Jesus blessed it and distributed it and thousands ate.
The little bit we have to offer becomes a great deal more when we pool resources and act with generosity. I am convinced that that is the hope of the Kingdom. I think God is going to continue to use us to bless and benefit one another for all eternity. Just like babies go through a time in the womb, we continue to grow and develop during our time on earth. Death is the next birth into a new reality. It will be similar and have some continuity and it will be radically different. But the skill of generosity, of love, and of caring about others will be carried over. God will use our "little bits" to create a wonderous new thing. It is probably okay to be excited about that future as we work together in the present.