Yesterday morning I joined our little team as we distributed fresh fruit and produce to people in our city. We have this partnership with 2nd Harvest Food Bank to provide a 10 minute cooking demonstration and then distribute food at our church parking lot twice a month. Every time I participate I say to myself, “I don’t know who gets more out of it, the people we serve, or me.” It’s an honor to serve our faithful shoppers who come so regularly to receive assistance and to see how much God cares for and cares about each person.
My experience makes me think of a portion out of my friend, Roy Goble’s, new book Junkyard Wisdom. He observes:
All humans are natural-born objectifiers. The wealthy objectify the poor, and the poor objectify right back. Jesus, though never looked at a person and saw a label or an object. He always saw a particular life. If we want to follow Jesus, and live like Jesus, we need to start seeing other people as Jesus sees them. The reality is that it can be profoundly difficult for the wealthy to truly follow Jesus. That is a hard truth, but a truth nonetheless. We wealthy can live as if we simply don’t need Jesus. We can buy products and services and experiences that would seem like miracles to the poor. We have access to those who influence the world. And we get caught up in the trappings and temptations of wealth. If we are wealthy, Jesus can be pushed to the margins of our lives – along with those who don’t share our lifestyle . . . The surprise I have been discovering, through sorrow and through joy, is that God is calling me to break down the walls I have created between myself and the poor, because there is something on the other side that I need to see.