The Christmas season brings many joys. It also brings a heightened awareness of those around us who struggle with finding joy in the midst of a season of excess and extravagance. We plan for parties and celebrations with people we cherish, thinking little of the expense of entertaining friends or feeding family. When I’m in the grocery store filling my cart with the ingredients for once-a-year delicacies and delights, the person next to me is hoping to fill her family’s stomachs one more day, one more week.
I’ve been there—wondering what to feed our children for dinner and then what would they have for breakfast the next morning. Between food pantries, food assistance, and the occasional bag of groceries left anonymously on our front porch, we were able to keep our house payments paid up, our utilities on, and have gas in our cars to make it to work. That’s just one of the reasons I love to splurge on meals for my family and friends. They helped me when I needed it.
So, this year, as we have for many years, we will take a Saturday, take some friends and family, and head down to Cass to make a hot lunch for about 250 people. We splurge! Over a dozen youth and adults helped last month, including one youth who baked 243 cupcakes for the Cass community meal. We made about 700 sandwiches. Those supply a nutritious meal for anyone held in a Detroit precinct on the weekends. Without them, they would go hungry, too. In a matter of hours, we touched nearly 1000 lives.
This month, our HeartWorks Ministries will take us to Gleaners. We will pack food pantry boxes that give families some food security in the cold, Michigan winter days ahead. Children will have something to eat when they get home from school and something to fuel their bodies when they get up in the morning. It only takes a few hours and a few hands to help keep a family strong and healthy and hopeful. You see, that’s the big deal about the Christmas season—hope. We have hope in the presence of Christ with us always. We have hope in God’s love to transform our world. We have hope that the economy will get stronger, that men and women will find meaningful employment that will pay enough to cover the basic necessities and give them a little more to share with others.
That’s a definition of wealth that I love—having enough to share with others.
I know you have a little time and energy to share with others. I know you have more than a little hope to share with others. See you on December 17th at Gleaners in Detroit. We will move a mountain of food and make hunger a thing of the past for someone. Call me at 248.476.8860 to learn how or contact Gleaners to set up a volunteer day on your own.