Sometimes the gratification of what you strive to do overtakes the discomfort and challenge that it takes you to get there.
It was one hot Sunday morning that stretched into an even hotter Sunday afternoon. Even the sticks of frozen sugar water beaded with sweat as they watched the sun beat down on those hard-headed Metro folk. No amount of 106-degree heat index weather was going to deter these warm-blooded human beings from casting a shadow on a community that sometimes just needs shade from the heat that the world places on them. It was a simple act, but one that spoke volumes of the intentional desire of this church to serve. They served, not for the benefits of money, or the esteem of accomplishment, but served â€śjust becauseâ€ť. Why not serve those that are closest to youâ€¦sounds simple enough, right?
As service turned to actual practice, planning turned to actual execution of work. There were teams inside, teams outside, teams by the door, teams manning the floor, teams running to the store, teams asking for more, this and that, there and back (Dr. Seuss anyone?). In the end, those whom we considered outsiders had an opportunity to enter the inside of our place of worship and fellowship. For the very first time in their lives, they walked
into the doors of our Metro church. Not with expectations to answer a sermonâ€™s call, but with a sense of true gratitude that they were offered a place of reprieve, a simple meal, and kind words from those who had every right to take the heat of the day as an excuse to be cold to these visitors.
Logistically, early event kinks were ironed out and individuals began to work like teams, and teams eventually evolved into working family units. How can we replicate this atmosphere on a regular basis? The answer is easy -- it is through hard work and sacrifice. Nothing is achieved through sitting back and observing; hands must get dirty and brows must bear a bit of sweat. We learned some lessons that day to take forward as we continue to look for opportunities to serve our neighbors. Remember, it was not that long ago that the question was asked of Jesus, â€śAnd who is my neighbor?â€ť From which a story led to the principle of seeing a need and filling it. This story ultimately led to the command to â€śgo and do likewiseâ€ť.
The question now stands: Will YOU be there the next time an event is planned to serve YOUR neighbors? For we must be ever ready to not pass those in need, for in passing those that we have an opportunity to serve, we may be passing those that are most able to bring life and joy to our very souls.