28 January 2013

feeding the hungry

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.


15 comments:

  1. What an amazing reminder of the difference we can make in people's lives! Not only that but the impact we can make on our children's lives by leading with this amazing example! :)

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  2. God is amazing. I am so glad He used you to answer that couple's prayers. A seed has been planted. Thank you for your obedience.

    Sophia
    twentyfiveseasons.com

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  3. I'm choking back tears. What a beautiful way to think of others. So thankful you're involving your children in this too!

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  4. You have such a beautiful spirit!!!

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  5. That's wonderful! While I typically give change/buy food and drive it back if I see someone who is asking for money/food/help, I would have never taken the initiative to actually make hot food & head out with the intentions of feeding those who need a hot meal and a view of someone who cares.

    Now, that's exactly what I want to do. It's kind of fun how God works:
    You do that for someone, you share with us, some of us decide to go out and do the same and in turn we give that glimpse of hope to someone else. It's like your blessing is multiplied. :D Cool, huh?!

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  6. This was so moving for me to read. What a blessing you are and what a blessing your teaching your children to be by such a wonderful example. Not only are you helping people but you are actively seeking out those in need. What an inspiration, thank you so much for sharing!

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  7. Carina, I love this. As I read this, I was thinking about what I could do in my own neighborhood to be the light and the hands of Christ. And I'm incredibly inspired that a mom of 4 kids can do this - it puts things in perspective for me.

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  8. Lute is a smart and tender hearted young man! Already sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is whispering into his little ear! What a wonderful ministry you've go going! May God Bless you as you bless others!

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  9. We live abroad and my youngest daughter (14 months at the time) was hospitalized for a week. The hospital had no cafeteria and no cribs so I couldn't get out to get food. One of our friends brought hot food every day. It's a gift I'll never forget. Don't assume that warm meal was a small thing. You were God's way of answering a prayer!

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  10. Your heart for others always blesses me..and the way you express it challenges me to want to do more. I love you girl. And I know that precious couple wasn't expecting something as delicious as your food when she prayed for a warm lunch. I am still bragging about your cooking.

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  11. aaaahh, i love this. what a blessing you are. and lute's jacket makes me happy. i don't really know why, lol

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  12. Beth at Dot in the City linked to this post, and I'm so happy to find this blog. What a beautiful story and a great reminder to care for the homeless in our community. You've inspired me to put together my own packets for those in my area. Thanks so much. :)

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  13. Ah, good lessons you're teaching those kids. And possibly just as important as the actual service.

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  14. This is such an amazing blessing and lesson you are not only teaching your boys but others as you share - my mom freq gave food and rides (;-/ I know scary) to homeless and in need people when I was little I remember many times vividly. As a family we do mission events and give at times but this is an amazing thing to so with your kids

    I wanna take your inspiration and bless others more also
    To be the hands and feet of Jesus

    You are a true faith walker!!!

    Blessings
    Janice ~
    sunshine-and-grace.blogspot.com

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