True Community

I’m not a political person. Like, at all. As in, I finally registered to vote when I was about 26, and then only because Aaron bugged me about it endlessly. But, every time I open a news ap on my phone or read the paper, I feel so helpless at all the mud-slinging and harassment that goes on between both political parties.

But what enrages me the most is all the negative commentary about conservative Christians. And honestly, why not? It’s almost too easy to point the finger especially when you have idiots that make the headlines.

I wish somehow ‘the news’ could find its way into the homes and churches all across the nation of people who are performing small acts of kindness and mercy that display the grace, compassion and loving tenderness Christians are called to. Because it happens every day.

We have two young children from our community  who have recently been either diagnosed with cancer or in a terrible accident. Their stories are tragic and filled with horrific details of families forced to separate while treatment is taken care of out-of-town, stretched finances and obviously distraught families. You feel so hopeless when you hear this stuff.

But a friend of mine wanted to do something. Her gifts and talents are in cooking and the girl knows how to feed an army. So that’s what she did. She made soup. Huge pots of tasty soup she made from scratch at her own kitchen stove. Friends and strangers rallied together and donated items, baked bread to go with the soup, cleaned dishes, ran errands and literally filled her home to bursting with the contagious energy that only happens when a group of people get together to do something good.

It was the most beautiful, refreshing chaos.

I intended to just donate a few items and drop them off at her house. I was going to buy some soup and call it good. I don’t personally know either family and figured I had done my good deed for the week.

But when I stepped into that house, the energy was contagious and it overtook me. I couldn’t help but stay. In fact, I came back three times that day to do everything from chop celery, to dish up soup and wrap bread to scrubbing pots at 11 o’clock at night. It was so good for the soul.

And when I reflected back on the day and my weary back from lifting those huge pots off the stove and into the sink, I couldn’t help but feel happy. And wish that somehow these small tender mercies would find their way into people’s hearts.

It’s easy for me to get really entrenched in my own day. Preschool drop-off, work deadlines, errands and the grocery store. I needed that act of service way more than my friend needed me (she had tons of helpers) because it reminded me what the ‘church’ is really supposed to be about and it was a breath of fresh air to experience it in action.

And that little soup fundraiser? It raised over $1000 for each family. Amazing.

 

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