Something To Give Away

“God is here,” he said.  “And he always is but sometimes he reminds us of that – like this morning.”

After a few more words, the principal of Garfield Primary School handed the microphone back to the pastor, who then motioned the children into the sanctuary.  They walked down the center aisle carrying back packs, notebooks, construction paper, and food.  There were about a dozen of these kids – white, middle-class kids filing past the principal and their pastor, laying their gifts on the stage at the front of the sanctuary.

Garfield Primary School is only five miles away from First Church Of The Brethren in Peoria, Illinois but “it’s a world away,” the principal had explained.  The kids who go to Garfield might not eat breakfast or own a book bag or bottle of glue.  Their parents might not have work.  But now they have help – not from a government program or corporate initiative, but from a dozen kids down the street.

The pastor prayed that the school supplies and food offered by them would be helpful to the students and families who’d receive them and thanked God for giving the church something to give away.

Amen.

Then I spoke about Compassion, knowing I was talking to people who already understand words like “kingdom” and “Good News” and “sacrifice,” people who are already doing what they’re saved for by loving kids just down the street in a number of ways for the last several years.  And then, when I finished, I watched in amazement as these people in a downward dipping economy decided they had the means to love kids around the world too.

Thanks to First Church of the Brethen in Peoria for an inspiring morning.  Thank God you were given something to give away…and you gave it.