Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Beyond the food April 20, 2016

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 2:57 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This week, our local food bank put out a message that they are in “urgent need” of food for the food pantry. I’m sure you’ve seen it before in your community. Certain times of the year are great for people giving food and volunteering, but then the warmer weather comes, people are still hungry and we forget about them. Many times, when a request for food donations is made, this passage comes with it:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40, The Message)

Maybe you’ve read it before. It’s what we often use to tell people that they need to give to the ministries that do these things. Give food. Help build the shelter. Donate school uniforms. Send prison missionaries.

But it goes beyond that. It goes beyond the food. Jesus is the one talking in the passage above. How did people feed Jesus? They invited him to sit around their table. Table fellowship is exemplified over and over and over in the Gospels. Jesus and the disciples gathered around the table and shared a meal with all kinds of people. Their friends, tax collectors, children, sinners.

Feeding the hungry goes beyond the food. Yes, donating food/money to the local food pantry is important. Please do, but also consider how you can go beyond the food. Consider how we might share around the table with those who are food insecure. Instead of just handing the drive-thru bag to the person on the corner with the cardboard sign, how about parking, walking over, and inviting him/her to join you inside for a meal as your guest? Instead of just dropping off a bag of groceries to that neighbor anonymously, what about inviting that family over for dinner once a week and sending the plentiful leftovers home with them? Instead of just giving a box of food to the pantry, what about giving time to help distribute the food, serve a meal, or sit and have conversation while eating with the guests at the shelter?

That whole “you did it to me” thing goes beyond the food. It goes to relationship. If giving food to the hungry means that we gave food to Jesus, then perhaps being in fellowship around the table means that we’ve actually been in fellowship with Jesus.

Think about that one.

Hanging out with the overlooked and ignored might just mean we’ve hung out with Jesus.

It’s time to go beyond the food.

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A Heart of Giving September 28, 2015

Filed under: Marriage — Kris @ 1:29 pm
Tags: , ,

One of the things that I love about Racer is that he has a heart of giving. And while we often disagree on where/how we should give, the question of whether we should give isn’t even a question. Let me give you an example:

Several years ago, things were really hard for us. In their generosity, some friends had pulled together and sent us 2 – $100 gas gift cards. What a blessing that was for us! We knew it would relieve a bit of a burden as Racer commuted a good distance for work. At that same time, a friend on the other side of the country was also having a very difficult financial time. That’s how we became friends – walking a journey of financial hardship together. At the time my friends were sending help for my family, my long-distance friend was trying to scramble for gas money to see a relative that would soon leave the earth.

When I opened the mail and saw 2 gas cards, my spirit leapt and I knew what I needed to do. So I called Racer, explained the situation with a woman he’d never met and immediately, he said yes.

That is a heart of giving.

Could have we used that gas money? Yep. But I believe that God placed the urge of generosity in the hearts of my friends so that they would bless not just my family, but another family as well. And outside of the joy of how God provided for me, what great joy it brought to have a spouse say, with no hesitation, yes to giving what we could’ve used.

In marriage, there will be a lot of differences between two people. Racer and I are like night and day sometimes. He’s an arrive late guy. I’m on time. He’s spontaneous. I’m a planner. Racer likes race cars. I do not. He doesn’t care about recycling. I’m a tree-hugger wanna-be.

Yet in the differences, there must be some key points of contact, of agreement, of heart connection. There are some things that spouses need to grown in commonality.

For us, it’s a heart of giving. We don’t argue about giving (but trust me, we disagree about plenty of other things). It’s a core component of our marriage and of our family. And when times are hard, when I don’t like how Racer is acting, when I don’t like how I am asking, I go back to the heart of things. I go back to what we have at our core. I go back to our heart of giving. It connects us. It grounds us. It binds us together.

What is at the heart of your marriage?

 

 
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