Simple Gift

We have the opportunity to see people at their best and at their worst when we serve in Valley Mission Food Pantry each week. I tell folks all the time that it's my second favorite day of the week, next to Sunday.
This past week was an exceptionally special day for all of us.
It was a cold December day with the usual Idaho winter wind howling down Arthur Avenue, making for a brisk walk to cars with food boxes for our Carry Team.
On the floor, Guests were being served with cheer, joy and a smile from the team. Just so you have a context, the majority of our volunteer team is NOT from First Baptist Church. About 60% come from the community while the other 40% are from the church.
As they went about their weekly routine of meeting needs and trying to put smiles on faces, one of our volunteers had an encounter with a guest that was out of the norm. What she did in response was, to many, an incredible display of giving. To her it was a simple gift.
As a young woman came through the line, she arrived at one of the 'stations' to get her food when our volunteer noticed she had no coat. "Where is your coat, young lady?", she asked. "I don't have one. This is all I've got for now", was the woman's reply. "It's too cold for you to be out there in just that. Wait right there", said our volunteer. She left the floor, ran into the back room and then appeared holding her coat in her hands. "Here, you take this and keep yourself warm. I can get another one", as the volunteer handed her coat to the Guest. Tears began to well up as she received the coat. The Guest was sent on her way to gather the rest of her food. It wasn't until the Guest had left that the volunteer realized, "My car keys were in that coat!"
Funny thing - God had already taken care of that little miracle. The Guest had reached into her pocket for something while heading out, and without knowing it, pulled her hand out and the keys fell on the floor in the Family Room. When our volunteer heard there were keys found she was greatly relieved to see that they were hers!

"What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb.
If I were a wiseman, I would do my part, Yet what can I give Him? Give Him my heart."

Sometimes we get caught up in the giving of gifts. Who? How much for each one? What if someone gives me a gift that I didn't have on my list? AGGHHH! We make ourselves crazy trying to keep up! If Jesus is the example of how we're to live our lives, perhaps we should be about meeting the need right in front of us first. Take time to listen to what people are really saying. Notice what they need in the moment. Then meet that need. When you touch the heart in the simplest of ways, it begins lay a foundation to hear the gospel. Then the real miracle happens - bigger than finding keys on a Family room floor!

Merry Christmas!

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