So summer is really upon us. My apartment complex is visited by an ever-hopeful ice cream vendor two times every day now. Funny how I find that more interesting since I will soon have a mobile food truck out on the road. I hope we get a better turnout than the ice cream vendor does. Sometimes she is here for quite a long time, because she will park outside the building and just play her music. I guess she is hoping to give slow ice cream customers time to get to her. After awhile, she finally drives away. But she does make an appearance twice each day.
I was thinking it would be very disappointing to take the food truck to a neighborhood and be in there cooking away and have nobody come to eat. I don’t see it happening that way, though. Not just because it is free food, either. I think people will come because Hope is appealing. Sarah and Kelly and I make no bones about it - we are on this mission because God placed the burden on our hearts and we wholly believe people’s lives will be touched by Him wherever we go. Why? Because we aren’t just doing this to feed hungry tummys. We are asking God to use us to reach out to hungry souls, and sometimes God does that in new an unusual ways.
I think people often don’t even know how much they need His touch until they have it. It has to sneak up on them and catch them when their guards are down. Not only do I plan to deliver food, I plan to bring a smile, conversation, and a listening ear. I am diligently praying God will give me the ability to show compassion as He shows compassion. I want people to know I have been where they are and I have a God Who brought me through to the other side. I want people to know they can have the same relationship I have with the same God and receive the same blessings. I want peoples’ experiences with the food truck to be so different from anything else they might experience in any other setting in this world. It is unusual in our society to reach out to our fellow human beings purely in love.
I have often seen the admonition to practice random acts of kindness over the past few years. But, in spite of that being a popular concept and I think most of us think it is a pretty good idea and would be pretty cool if everyone did it - usually we don’t. I am asking God to make me a person whose eyes are open to the needs around me - and to give me creative and random ways to meet them. Sometimes it is literally just a smile people need to help them through this moment and the next. Heaven knows we face a lot of negativity and even anger in the course of a day. When I am at work either at the store or at the school, I try hard to make each person I am working with feel like he/she is the only person who matters at that moment in time. I don’t do that because it’s my job, I do it because I feel like that is one way I can let God love through me. And people respond differently to loving kindness.
Sometimes they just act like I am weird. Sometimes they respond by trying to out-kind me. Sometimes they act even more rude, as if they want to push me to the point where I am being rude as well. Human beings are so interesting. And the thing is, no matter how they react to my meager attempts to show them they have value and worth - everyone has a deep need and yearning to know God intimately.
I think it can get buried with busyness which makes it easier for people to ignore. Or it can get lost when the Christian testimony on display is mostly judgmental criticism and pointing fingers. Being hurt by members of a particular church can cause people to turn away as well. And often I have met people who mostly want to share about their negative impressions of Christianity. But the thing is - all those are people issues, not God issues. God is still God, still on the throne, still loving and still wanting EVERYONE to come to Him. I just have to remember He is the One Who will overcome the people issues and get to the hearts. And the hearts are my biggest concern. In that regard, the ice cream vendor in my neighborhood is a good example for me. She keeps coming back, and she waits. Consistency in me is what many people need to see. The good thing is, my God isn’t going anywhere. I know the harvest is plentiful, I just have to be a willing worker, consistent in my faith, consistent in my love, consistent in my testimony, consistent in my visits. God will take care of the rest.