One of the missions of our congregation is delivering Christmas and Easter food boxes for struggling families. We get names from school counselors, who are often the most aware of the needs of families.
We load up on a Saturday and go two by two with a handful of names and addresses, and a car full of boxes full of ham or turkey, fixin’s, and love.
When we deliver the food we talk to the families and ask about their lives. Then we offer prayer and a blessing. Everyone comes back with lots of smiles and stories.
My delivery partner Sajeev and I knocked on the door of a woman and son. The boy opened up the door with a big smile. His mother let us in and showed us to the kitchen. I am not sure there was any food in it. The boy quickly grabbed some of the candy and ran off to his room.
The mother told us about how this wasn’t her house. It was her sister’s who was out of town. They had just moved here from Chatanooga where she had been in a shelter for women. The boy’s father had died. She was trying to get into a housing program here in Nashville. She said she began the day praying for food because she did not know how she would get any and they were out. When she got our call she knew God had answered her.
The boy came back with a broken I-Pod and a half used bottle of cologne. He gave Sajeev the I-Pod and me the cologne. “For you!” How could I say no?
I invited us to hold hands and pray. There we stood, a human family, heads bowed. I prayed for all the needs mentioned by the mother and gave thanks for the generosity of the boy.
I started to say Amen, when the mother dropped to her knees- when I say dropped, I mean she literally dropped…hard- still holding our hands. She lifted up her head and cried out to the Lord in a prayer that stunned me in its authenticity and emotion. She gave thanks and asked God’s blessing on us and our church.
We left her with the box of food and we took hearts full of blessing. Sajeev asked me, “Why do you think a 6 year old boy had a half used bottle of cologne in his room?” It hit me like a 10 pound ham…it had belonged to his father. He gave me his most precious possession.
Giving what is most precious for the sake of another is at the heart of the good news of Christ.
Jesus was once a 6 year old boy and that day he was again.