Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cucumber Sandwiches and Funnel Cakes

Sometimes, it's the little things that say so much. Recently, I was talking to a guest and he described the meals the Mission serves as "miraculous," not because they are always amazingly delicious (though we do have some pretty good food) but because it never tastes "clinical." That is, our cooks do their best to go beyond merely quantity. And, when you think about it, "miraculous" is a great way to describe all the services the Mission provides. We serve about 300 meals a day. That's an average; so some days we serve more, some less. We never know how many. We also never know what donation might come in the door, and we exist on donations. Our cooks sort through the inventory of donated items and transform those donations into enough to feed anywhere from 30 people (at a lunch meal) up to about 150 (for a dinner meal). It has to be a meal that appeals to men, women, and children. It has to be able to "hold" well without breaking down (so it still looks and tastes good). It has to be as nutritious as possible and as filling as possible (as for some this is their main or only meal of the day). It can't be too spicy, but it has to have good flavor. It has to appeal to as many different palates as possible.

With all these expectations, we still see the occasional cucumber sandwich or funnel cake: the unusual item, the special treat, that "little thing" that says our cooks are doing more than going about a task. Their focus goes beyond merely putting food on a plate. They take the time to give more. And that's the soul of the miracle. It is amazing how much food is donated during a year. It is humbling to see the number of people who volunteer to help prepare and to serve those meals. Beyond all these great things, it's the small ones that say we're not just here to fill your belly. We're here to give you hope. To offer you the Bread of Life. To show you the love that is eternal. That sees you in your need and gives...more.

...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:17-21