The event was one of the weekly meals at Grace and Mercy Ministries, a ministry that supplies meals to the homeless and needy twice a week. The meal was being supplied by our church senior group, the Silver Stars. The Silver Stars had cooked a meal of pinto beans, cornbread, turnip greens, and an array of desserts, delivered them to Grace and Mercy Ministries and began to set up and serve these individuals. It was my first time visiting Grace and Mercy, and I was in total awe and amazement at what I was witnessing. To actually see the body of Christ at work is a powerful force to witness. As I mingled and talked with the people, God continued to speak to me and show His presence in the room. These people were gracious, polite, humble and courteous. I cannot remember the last time I went to a local restaurant and the patrons were such as these.
As I talked with our patrons, God spoke in my mind through Scripture, and the first was “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.” (Matt. 25:34-35, NLT). The individuals that came were grateful for their food, gracious in accepting, and thankful for the fellowship. Our Silver Stars were gracious in there giving of food, time, effort and service to those in need and Grace and Mercy is the catalyst that supplies the place for God’s hand to touch others.
As I continued to talk with our patrons, God spoke to me again and reminded me that it is the basics in life that are important. Our patrons were happy to just receive the basics of life. A meal, some bread, detergent, a warm room, and a gentle hug, then the verse from Matthew 19:24 came to mind, “I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” God brought meaning to this verse through these wonderful people. It is their needs for basics that keep their focus on God to supply their needs. When we become self-sufficient and no longer worry about our basic needs, we tend to take our focus off of God because we are able to meet our basic needs. How blessed are these people that their focus is not obstructed by the secular doctrine of materialism and they are able to be 100% focused on God for their needs! While many will have their focus obstructed this season with black Friday sales, these people will maintain their focus on God.
Then another verse came to me, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. ‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’” (Matt. 6:33-34). Our patrons were focused only on today. They were trying to survive today, and knew that today was a gift from God, a blessing to be alive. As they did announcement of who was sick, and announced that one had passed away, you could see in their faces they understood that each day is a gift from God, not to be taken for granted.
It was at this point, our own Dorothy Teague from the Silver Stars led worship, and the house erupted into house of praise to God, free from restraint and full of the Spirit. As I stood back and worshiped with our patrons, you could see the Spirit transcend upon each person as their eyes lit up, their hands raised and tears streamed from their faces. Once again, God spoke to me with another Scripture, “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” (Psalm 59:16). Here are people who have nothing but the bare basics of life, but show more emotion in praising God then our own church family. What a blessing it was to be a part of something so pure and so innocent. It was the purest form of the Gospel being worshiped by the purest form of human being. Then I heard a voice again, and it was saying Matthew 18:3-4, “Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Our patrons had the innocence of children and were worshiping our almighty God without restraint just as children do. What a blessing to be so pure at heart and unrestrained to be able to let go of the worldly restraints that bind us to worship God in this manner! There was no fear of what others might think, no fear of embarrassment; just a pure outpouring of love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I was BLESSED.
As we enter this time of year, I pray that you are also blessed as I was. Blessed in a manner that God will speak to your heart and bring back the focus of what is really important in life, and that is His glory. Let go of your high expectations of family, friends, gifts, parties, and events; just enjoy each day God gives you as the blessing that it is and use it to glorify Him through the calling He has given you.