This past Saturday on February 4th, 2017 I was blessed to be able to serve with Blackman Community Church at the Salvation Army in Murfreesboro. Can I be honest with you for a minute? I’ve never really done anything like this before, in all 20 years of living. I’ve ran food to the homeless with a friend of mine and I’ve given, given, and given but there was something different this time. This was serving with a church; hand in hand with the body of Christ. The people filling this building consisted of a teacher, a pastor, a student, worship leaders, people on probation, and the homeless adults and kids. It might seem weird if you walked in and saw this group all together.
As the BCC launch team we arrived at 3:00pm and prepared and served food until about 6:30pm. As we cooked and prepared the food it felt like family. Our goal wasn’t to be the best person around or to look good because we were doing something good, but to simply love. To be One. Two guys showed up to sign a paper to show they were getting their hours for community service. Soon, these two guys were not just working alongside us, but working with us. This had to be the coolest thing. We laughed, joked, and smiled together. We were no longer strangers. We were One.
At around 5:00pm, people started filing in to receive their red plate of spaghetti, salad, and bread. Our team served plates to about 35 people who were sitting around tables in this small dining area. In the back corner Andy and I set up my guitar and his Cajon (box drum) and started playing some tunes. I started playing popular songs like, “Free Fallin’”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Hallelujah” and any other songs our friends requested. Some would shake their heads with a smile and chuckle, because I didn’t know the songs, because I was too young or I simply disliked the country music they requested! Thank goodness for their grace!
What really got me were the two kids sitting right in front of me. One girl who looked about nine shouted out to me, “Hey, do you know the song ‘This Little Light of Mine?’” Of course I knew that song! As I responded to her, I grabbed my phone to look up the chords, and I really let her take the reins on that song. What a sweet, sweet sound to have a child lead the adults. Joy expanded throughout the room as this little one lead us. A few more songs like that one was requested. Finally, “Peace like a river” was requested from this nine-year old’s lips. That song was “It is Well”, and it was one of the last songs I played with these people before I said goodbye (until next time).
Do you remember who these people were sitting in this room? They majority of these people came to this place to eat their first meal of the day or to just sit with a roof over their head. How could these people sing out such a hymn like this when they have so little?
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul”
I pray I can seek the joy to love big like these people. Church we may have it all, but we simply do not have anything if it means if we have lost how to love. Love like this expands and then explodes all around for others to taste and see. An opportunity like this has humbled me and has reminded me of something we so often forget. I hope you can join us next time as we serve at the Salvation Army!