It's been awhile since I've posted about our adventures taking food to the homeless. We haven't been very intentional about it the last few months - just always trying to keep our glove boxes filled with baggies to give out when we see someone.
But last week it was so cold and we had one long empty day ahead of us. As visions of rambunctious boys danced through my head, I thought it might be the perfect day to venture out with hot food in tow.
Chicken broccoli casserole was easy enough to whip up, and I had grabbed a package of these to go containers from the dollar store awhile back. We filled a few up and got ready to head out.
A few months ago while we were driving around, Lute asked me why these people didn't just buy a house. I explained that life is hard sometimes and bad things happen and some people don't have money or family to help them out. "Mama," he said, "we shouldn't just give them food. We need to give them bibles and tell them we'll pray for them so they can learn about God and how much He loves them and ask Him for help." I was dumbfounded. My sweet, matter of fact five year old knew it needed to go a little deeper. Maybe our little note on the carton isn't much, but it's a start.
I gathered my crew (Frances was so excited about it, can you tell?) and loaded up the car. Before we left the driveway we said a prayer that we'd find a few people who'd be encouraged by a hot meal, and sense a real love coming from it.
We made our way toward the city, pulling off at a familiar exit where you can usually find a person or two with a tattered cardboard sign. A young couple stood at the corner, faces wrapped in scarves, shivering in the cold, holding a sign that said, "anything helps."
I rolled down my window and asked if they wanted some lunch, and they eagerly accepted. The man turned to the woman and said, "this is exactly what you prayed for." I wished them well and then quickly rolled up my window so they wouldn't see the tears spilling over.
In that moment I knew that in my own eagerness to get out of the house and pass the time, God had a bigger plan. That He'd drawn us to this couple, who'd hoped and prayed simply for something warm to eat. Honestly, the meal wasn't much. It wasn't going to change their lives. But it was something. And my biggest hope is that it was a tangible sense of hope and love that Someone far greater than me is on their side. It was a reminder that I am called to give what I can, no matter how small, to those around me who need - whether love or kindness, or a hot meal. I must give what I can with a cheerful heart.