The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?
The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:16 (NRSV)
Yesterday, Heritage had a cook-out with Ezekiel (you can read more about our relationship here). Ezekiel wanted to have a cookout with us to show us one of the completed houses and meet some of the guys who had worked on it.
When I arrived at the house a few minutes before noon, no one was there. Two guys were in the process of arriving. They let me into the house but they knew nothing about the cook-out.
I called the VP who had suggested the cook-out (but not the one I had coordinated the date with). They were working on another house and “Oh, yes…..that was today.” They were going to load up their grill and come over.
In the meantime, folks from Heritage began to arrive. Some of us had been at the house in June to work on the yard. Those of us who had been there before were impressed with how great the house looked.
We brought some beverages and dishes to pass as Ezekiel was proving the meat. While we waited, we looked around. Guys from Ezekiel began to arrive. We mingled. And when the grill arrived, we watched it together waiting for the brats and hamburgers to cook.
I had a 2:00 meeting. When I left, everyone was just starting to eat. Two hours after the cookout was to begin. I had a piece of corn but went away hungry.
And yet, I was full.
When you work with small non-profits, things happen on a different schedule. They don’t have the staff larger and for-profit entities have. Their purpose is not to run like well-oiled machines. Their purpose is to serve their community.
In the last few years, I’ve contacted two organizations I didn’t have a previous relationship with to support them financially. In the first, they just stopped corresponding with me. The second, they didn’t show up at the meeting. I did marvel at hard it is to give people money!
My gut reaction, especially coming out of the corporate world, was to be annoyed and think, “They don’t deserve my money. It would probably be wasted.” But that wasn’t the truth. The truth is that both were all or mostly volunteer-run organizations. Life happens. Who knows what else they had going on at the same time some random person was contacting them.
Likewise, for Ezekiel.
They put a work schedule together each week of houses, contractors, materials, and inspections. This was a Monday. Our cookout wasn’t their top priority. Their top priority is rehabbing homes in the central city and training people to work in skilled trades.
Our folks probably drove 30 minutes to get to the house and weren’t planning on being out for over three hours for a cookout. But from what I could see, everyone was OK with it. As we waited for the guys to arrive and for us to eat together, I didn’t hear complaining. I heard conversation and laughing about the mix up.
Yesterday, I witnessed hospitality extended and hospitality received. It was the communion of the saints even though the words of institution were not spoken. As I walked away, just as we do from the communion table, my stomach may not have been full – but my soul was. Thanks be to God.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
2 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSV)
As I walked away, just as we do from the communion table, my stomach may not have been full - but my soul was. Click To Tweet