And I couldn’t imagine not being able to feed them when they are hungry. We so take for granted the big blessings in life, like food and shelter. We are not often reminded to just be thankful, because to us, food and shelter are not something we think about beyond “where to go for dinner”, “do you want to pack or buy today”, “is today pizza day?”, “oh, you don’t like grape jelly, well how about organic strawberry?” These are the dilemmas that we face.
And as I scramble and fuss about packing lunches for my children for summer camp each day,
There’s a momma of two.
Standing with her baby blonde boys, agonizing over that clock ticking, moment by moment, praying, praying, praying that time will slow down. That time will slow long enough so she can figure something out. She knows they will be hungry. She knows she doesn’t have much for them to eat. Noon looms over her head like a dark rain cloud, and she desperately tries to distract them. This is a reality that I, myself, have never had to face. However, so many in our community have. I met this momma today. And her two sweet blonde boys, one on a bike and the smaller one running beside his big brother, trying to keep up. “Speedy” they called him… and as he raced up to my vehicle, parked in the front of their trailer park, trunk open wide and lunches piled high, he smiled. “Speedy” ran faster than his brother could ride, and he flew up to me, his little legs a blur under him. I handed him a bagged lunch and he stopped. He smiled. And he quickly ran to the right, behind a nearby tree, to open the brown paper sack and peer in. The biking brother and his mom caught up, and as we handed them a lunch, the mom hung her head. In a desperate effort to pretend I didn’t notice, to act natural, to put her at ease, I ask the boy what school he goes to, and what grade he is in, adding in my super cheerful “awesomes” and “wows”, appearing to be chipper and not totally hearbroken for this family, even though I was. The mom thanked us repeatedly. And I wished I could do more. As they walked off, another family walked over, and another, and another. We canvassed the neighborhoods, talking to the children and finding out who was in need. It was such a blessing to serve them.
And I will be thankful as I pack my children’s lunches each day. Instead of scrambling and fussing, I will take a moment to thank God for the rich blessing of provisions for my children. I will also pray for those children that are in need this summer, that more volunteers reach out to help Ms. Ann Massey of Ann’s Hope Chest with this amazing ministry.
I challenge every family to bear the burden of another this summer. Sign up to help with this ministry through Ann’s Hope Chest. Get your children involved. Talk to them about giving and serving others. Involve them in the process of lunch packing. Whether you can pack 10 lunches or 100 lunches, just do it. Talk about being thankful for lunch each day that God provides. Talk about sharing with others. Read the story about Jesus feeding the multitudes of people. Let them ask questions that are hard to answer, but keep the conversation going. Little minds may not fully understand every detail and every “why”, but little hearts will.
Teach them to serve and to be thankful.