Thursday, May 3, 2012

Compassion Sunday

This past Sunday was "Compassion Sunday" at our church. A friend and I decided that we would be willing to tell a little bit about the children that we sponsor through Compassion and share the video that Compassion sends to churches for this Sunday to raise awareness of the needs these children have and the opportunities everyone has to make a difference in a child's life.

I read on Ann's blog about a Compassion Sunday presentation she gave. She brought three boxes of cookies to church and gave them to three boys in the front pew. Then, she proceeded to tell the congregation that she had brought enough cookies for ALL of them. . . if the boys were willing to distribute what they had been given. Her message was powerful to me: God gives the world the resources we need; He just doesn't distribute them evenly.

This was the message I wanted to share on Sunday. But on Thursday night as I prepared I just couldn't see a way for me to bake 200 cookies for church on Sunday. There were soccer games ahead and I would be out of town all day Saturday. It was the end of the month and I was out of grocery money. If I were to take cookies, I would want to make them from scratch. Or, better yet, I'd prefer to bring fruit or another healthy snack! Even though I wanted to use this object lesson, I couldn't figure out how to pull it off. I asked the Lord to provide 200 of something if He wanted me to share this with our own congregation on Sunday.

He did.

On Saturday I was in Forest, VA with my friend Krista. We were making healthy chocolate shakes at our JuicePlus+ table during the local Chocolatefest and talking those milling around about the importance of eating many fruits and vegetables. The skies looked dark and there were clouds hanging low over the mountains. After only 45 minutes, rain started to fall. Then, there was lightning and thunder and hail! We quickly moved our table under a nearby awning and watched as people ran for shelter or their cars. Then, we watched the vendors pack up and pull away, too. Sharing our little dry space was the vendor beside us. We got to know her as we watched the rain and chatted about our families (and wasn't there only a 40% chance of rain? and wasn't it supposed to start in the evening?). When she decided to pack up, too, she offered us three pans of fudge that she had made for the festival. "I'm not going to take these home," she said. "Do you want them?"

 Even as I thought how opposed my "healthy" brain was to taking a pan of chocolate fudge, I remembered all the teeny tiny squares she had cut the fudge into. "There must be at least 100 pieces in each pan," I thought. And she was offering me two. That would be . . . about 200 pieces of something homemade that I could take to church the next morning.

I took the fudge. And my boys carried it into church the next morning. And I shared Ann's object lesson and shared my own heart: that even when I think I may not have enough for myself I can give away and give away and never run out because we can't out-give the Giver.

And my friend Heidi and I stood at the Compassion table after the service. Some of the child packets were taken and other families told us they would go home and choose their child online. And I handed out fudge to adults and children who looked at these children and thought about how they could change a life, and shared fudge with the families who told us about the children they already sponsor through Compassion. And I knew how incredibly blessed we are.

When we left church that morning, there was still a pan of fudge that hadn't even been touched. I thought I needed 200 of something, but I didn't even need 100 pieces.

I'm not very good at judging needs, but my God is incredible at meeting them.

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