Sometimes, when we are vulnerable and our eyes see, we discover gifts that opens our heart to hope. Saturday morning Deb and I went to our church in downtown Indianapolis to deliver some invitations to guests of our food bank. The invitation was for our Easter morning breakfast which many of our friends from the street share with us.
As I stood and chatted with some of our hosts and some of our guests, I was reminded why I believe deeply in the church. There were 75 people shopping at our produce tables which had been supplied by Indianapolis Fruit (thanks to Deb's son, Collin Miller, who helped us connect with that wonderful resource for feeding the hungry). They then went into the market and shopped for canned goods that had been provided by members of Central and the Gleaners Food Bank. People come to the church for all kinds of nourishment.
And gathered with our guests were 20 adults and children who hosted the gathering, helping, visiting, providing coffee and cake while an orderly process of shopping was followed. While some waited, they went into the Thrift Shop where many purchased essential items of clothing for a small fee. Throughout the lower level of the church, ministry and community was happening.
Now I am not naive. I know that this is simply a small bandage on the wounds of our society where more people live on the edge of existence while a few expand their wealth beyond any description of decency. I know that a more just system of sharing the world's resource is absolutely essential not only for the survival of civilization but also for the fulfilling of God's desire for shalom. (And I have to say that I am glad that I am part of a congregation where people are gathering to act for justice for janitors, for those who need reliable public transit, for those who are excluded by laws from marrying the people they love.)
But, in the interim time before a more just society can emerge, I am glad to be part of community who does what we can to keep people from falling off the edge. My heart ached with hope as I shared that Saturday morning communion. I am thankful for small signs of God's love that I get to see.