Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘food pantry’

Known

Yesterday I made a new friend whom we’ll call Dinah. We just clicked (I have a feeling she’s a clicker, because I can be a little less clicktastic). She’s also a self-proclaimed blogaholic, so if she’s reading, hello!¬† As for the rest of you, if you read regularly, you’ll know that I’ve made a LOT of new friends in the last six weeks or so. It’s been an amazing thing, this.

I’ve actually been really skeptical of the new church because people have just seemed to accept me so quickly and easily. Frankly, it’s weird. I don’t know what to say except that I just seem to fit here. We’ve been at the church for about three months now. I’ve already joined a small group, gone on a girls’ night out, had solo time with a friend, volunteered at our food pantry, and been really, really honest about my stuff with pretty much everyone.

I’ve always feared being known. Being exposed is pretty much every mammal’s fear; that’s why cats freak out if you touch their bellies and people cry in yoga positions like camel — there’s an innate terror at the thought of being revealed. But today Jesus told me something pretty amazing. He said that being known is actually my safety. See, when I’m isolated, the lies I’ve believed my whole life twist in on themselves, growing deeper roots and gaining power. When I risk being known, I grow ever more safe because people know me well enough to speak the truth, call me on my crap, and hold me accountable. It’s hard. It’s good.

A couple of months ago, a friend was leaving our old church. I asked a couple of mutual friends why he was leaving, and one of them said rather snidely, “Ask him if you want to know.” My fear what that he would think I was gossiping about him, so I went and told him about the interaction and asked his forgiveness, because I truly didn’t want him to think I was trying to harm him by asking. And do you know what he said to me?

“I know heather, and that’s not you.” He KNOWS me, and he KNOWS that I’m not a gossip. Had I slunk away, as I’m wont to do, he would never have been able to act as God’s mouthpiece for me at a time when I needed it desperately. He saw me, spoke truth to me, and set me free. It was precious.

So being known, hmm. I’m still a little wary of this process because it feels like I’m on a bullet train heading straight into the heart of community. Community is, as Dinah said, messy sometimes. Indeed, and I’m so grateful. It is well.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10

I don’t know about you, but I sort of love this dare from God. Our new church takes it literally by providing a food pantry called The Storehouse. It’s for both members of the church and members of the community who are struggling. Now, if you know me well, you know that food, most especially healthy, whole food, is my passion. I get excited to feed people, and I get equally upset when people aren’t fed.

Since we’ve only been in the church for three weeks, so far my contribution has been limited to tithing on our food budget for The Storehouse. I have to admit that I have a huge vision for this place, but it’s not mine to take over. Well, at least that’s what I thought at first.

The Music Man has been telling me for weeks that I’ll end up running the place, and it seems that he may be right. It turns out that the couple who started The Storehouse is moving to the North Africa as permanent missionaries. This whole church move has been so God-led that I believe I will (eventually) run The Storehouse, and I’ve already expressed my interest in being part of this ministry.

I believe that feeding people is one of the ways we show them love. I believe that a food pantry should be better than Spaghettios and Spam. I have a rule of not bringing anything to The Storehouse that I wouldn’t want to feed my own family.

Why couldn’t we make our food pantry whole-foods based? What about food that’s suitable for vegetarians? Celiacs? How can we label foods so that the big eight food allergy sufferers are safe? Why can’t we have fresh foods? 100% whole-grain breads? What about creating a small recipe book to tuck in with the groceries so people know HOW to use a one pound bag of green split peas?

A simple¬† labeling system, a walk-in cooler, a partnership with our local bread supply store, the recipes I use with my own family, bound and distributed, dance in my head like Sugar Plum Fairies. I’m a bit tentative, because they all require both a big move of God and the help of many other people.

“Test Me in this,” He says. I long to obey.

This is not a glamorous ministry. It’s not the sort of thing that would grace the cover of a slick magazine or create a quotable speaker on the Christian talk circuit. Still and although, these questions nip at my heart. How do we reach people with the saving message of Jesus when their hunger roars in their ears? How do we convince them of a loving God when their children’s eyes plead for bread? How can we nourish them with the Gospel of love if we don’t nourish their bodies with real nutrition?

What an unbelievable gift this is, to labor with God in the bringing of His Kingdom. This is my heart’s cry, my big dream. All I can do is obey Jesus, and pray that it is His good pleasure to use little me!

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love You.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17

I’m a little late to the party, but if you’re a last minute gal like me, check out A Holy Experience. Ann and the people from She Speaks are giving away a scholarship to the July conference in North Carolina, which seeks to connect women to other women and to the heart of God. Deadline is tomorrow, 9 am!

Read Full Post »