It was one of those moments again. You know those moments when you feel God move on your heart and break it. Yes, one of those moments. And it hurt in a beautiful, sacred kind of way. Like the song Sweetly Broken…
It was our big Christmas give away at church today. We are a small church, we meet in a school with no place really to call our own. This little church believes fiercely in giving bigger than it is. It believes that just as Jesus poured Himself out on the cross that we should pour out in kind…and they do.
Monthly the church pours into the neighborhoods around us giving out boxes of food, if someone calls with a need they do their best to do what a little church can do. Our Pastors do not drive fancy cars or wear designer clothes..and not for lack of enjoying those things….they just believe in serving others first.
At the beginning of the school year they fill and give out backpacks and have a back to school blast for the neighborhood. During fall we had a coat drive. We bought and handed out hundreds of brand new jackets to kids and families who needed them.
But this was the big Christmas give away. Bikes, a couple of t.v.’s, a couple of game systems and countless other large and small items. The week before they had gotten together and filled two hundred boxes with little toys and doodads not only for the church and the neighborhood but also for kids stuck in the hospital for christmas. After the give away they served everyone pizza….
Standing in the entrance to the church I watched as it seemed like literally HORDES of people descended on our little school/church. At first I was happy to see people come, I was awed that so many were there and at the same time a little intimidated by the mass of need.
and then…..I got a little bugged……in about ten seconds literally hundreds of thoughts went through my head. These people were coming with no intention of ever stepping foot back through our doors until the next free give away. These people were coming to get a need met and to get it for free. These people came through our doors to take whatever they could get and complain about what they couldn’t and then leave.
In that ten seconds I thought about how much each family that had helped put this whole thing together had poured out their time and energy and sacrificed to make this happen. I was actually a bit angry for a second or two. It was righteous indignation right?…..
And then I was struck with the fact that none of the pastors and their support staff cared about how the people took, they just cared to give. They LOVE to give, they love to love. There was no hesitation, no trying to decide who really deserved what. They gave happily and with love to a people who were desperately seeking anything to fill the needs in their lives.
In that moment my heart broke as I saw the heart of God for the people He created, the heart of God for me. No matter how many times I come expecting, He is waiting to give. I am the one who walks into the throne room with my hand held out asking for blessing. Asking for a free gift. Walking into the church and asking how they are going to serve my needs. I go to God and I go to God, screaming, demanding what about me…..Yet He has not withheld His hand from me or His love.
By then I had to go and cry in a separate room. I know I am no different than anyone else. I know the depravity of my soul and the greed of my heart but sometimes I need to see it….and today I saw it….and at the same time saw the enormity of Christ’s unconditional love mirrored in a tiny little church with a big heart.
I know that there were many, many people who came today with beautiful and grateful hearts. I know that some came afraid that their need would not be met. I know that some came to share in something bigger than themselves. With a broken heart I can honestly say that I was not one of them. Today I was one of the horde.
And God in His amazing love and infinite grace, gladly and happily poured out His blood and gave me the gift of Himself…again.