It's that time. I am drowning in scholarship applications, essays, and writing my address more times than sane. One of my essay prompts brought me back to a time that just overwhelmed me with Christ's love and fellowship, bringing me to tears. The prompt said this: "Please write a one page essay describing the importance of what public service means to you, focusing primarily on both your personal experiences as well as the importance to overall community well-being." How cool is it that God could use a boring, "bang head here" prompt to bring me at His feet in worship of Him!
At church we used to host a Thanksgiving meal for the homeless and needy in our area. I remember showing up to help and not being particularly excited and not feeling very well either. That day a man came with his three sweet grandchildren and he was this rough-looking Hispanic man. He had the gold chain and the gold rings and the tattoos to match. His table was one of the last tables to be picked to serve because, let's be honest, he was scary. The meal began I was so blessed to be able to serve this man and his family. This man had the hugest heart and clearly loved his grandchildren with all his heart. He began to tell me his story and about all the mistakes he had made in his life. He began to show me some of his tattoos and telling me about the events in his life that had inspired those tattoos. At the end of his story, all he wanted was for me not to make the same mistakes he did! This man was clearly hurting and had faced many trials in his life. He told me a little about his current situation and I was heart broken. But this man wasn't worried about what was happening in his life but that I wouldn't "mess up my life" the way he had. This man broke my heart and I just wanted to give him a big hug. I consider myself very blessed to be able to serve this man and share that sweet time listening to him and playing with his precious grandchildren (who gave the best little hugs).
Once my table was cleaned I joined the people handing out pecan pies and sweet potato pies to our guests as they left. This sweet older woman came walking towards us with a to-go plate in her hand and a fully belly. We asked her if she wanted to take home a pie to enjoy with her left-overs and this woman began to weep. She had been overwhelmed by the love she had been shown by the church that she doesn't just deserve a fully belly of warm food but a plate to take home and a whole pie to enjoy with it. This woman touched my heart and has reminded me of the passionate love of Jesus Himself. We don't deserve a fully belly of his intimate grace and personal fellowship with Him. We don't. Why on earth should we also deserve get to enjoy Him later for all eternity? Because His love is so deep, so wide, so high, and so incomprehensible that the perfect God of the universe would want to love a wretch like me. I am the queen of the fools and Jesus wants to make me His bride. That is amazing. I don't deserve this but I am so very grateful for His passionate, unfailing, trustworthy, and all-encompassing love.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.