We carry crock pots into the kitchen and set them on the table. Soup is ladled into bowls. Bread is neatly placed on plates. Dessert stands ready on a counter nearby. Outside hungry people wait. My community group is serving those in need tonight.
And aren’t we all in need?
We wipe down the last of the surfaces a couple of hours later. I think of smiles as spoons are lifted to lips. I remember the laughter of children as they tear the corner off a cookie. I recall the look of satisfaction and fullness as folks lean back in their chairs when they’re done.
Where have I seen all of that before?
And I realize then that I see it every day. I see it when a coworker pauses to offer a kind word to someone having a hard day—a little morsel of encouragement that’s gobbled up with gratitude. I see it when my friend wraps her arms around her oh-so-tired little one and sees past the crankiness to the silent request for comfort and rest. I see it when a stranger on the street flashes a smile like an unexpected bit of chocolate tossed my way.
If I were with you now, I know I’d see it too. You’re feeding someone today. Who is the hungry heart in your life? Oh, what you do may feel small. It may feel unseen. But it matters. It’s noticed by the one who said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
Just in case no one has told you lately, I want to whisper this: Thank you for what you do. Thank you for feeding the hungry in your life in your own amazing way.
We carry the crock pots back to our cars. The fall wind feels like a whisper around us. Every last bit is gone. We didn’t even get to eat but I don’t feel hungry. It turns out those whose bodies we fed did the same for our hearts in return.
And so it goes—round and round. Giving, receiving, in need, meeting needs too.
Until we’re all so very full.