“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”― John Bunyan
He was a scary looking biker dude, bald with long hair (yes, that is possible), tattoos, girth like a small redwood and an attitude of quiet invincibility. A gentle giant since knowing Christ, he reigned over the Mission front office, and in spite of being his boss, I frequently found myself addressing him as “Sir.”
As you know we feed needy families. Children of all ages frequent our supper table. On one such occasion a little bit of a girl was just finishing her meal. She had saved the best for last and the best was a vanilla cupcake with sprinkles. She had enthusiastically enjoyed the “bus-ghetti” and had eaten her peas one by one, all the time keeping an eye on the cupcake. Why she did not wolf it down at the end of her meal was a mystery about to be solved.
Her family thought she was taking it home with her when they rose to leave. On the way out she asked several people who had cooked her supper. Not being able to locate that exact person (shifts change) she found herself in front of our gentle giant, who not wanting to disappoint her, offered that he might have been the cook she was looking for. Was there a complaint? A request? A suggestion? With a delicate grace she placed her treasured cupcake in his massive fist. “I saved it for you,” she whispered. “Oh, no, this is for you to eat. It’s your dessert. Don’t you want it? You could take it home with you,” was his reply. “Sprinkles are the best so I want you to have it,” she insisted.
It was just no good trying to dissuade her. If you have ever seen a giant eat a cupcake with all the reverence of a man being served Communion you will never forget it. I will not. Frosting on his lips, tears in his eyes and a happy little girl at his feet he marveled at the generosity of a child who was in need herself- right before he took another pill for diabetes. (We found her another cupcake to take home.)
If the truth be told, he was misty eyed all evening as was I; as I am now telling you about it. It matters that we are here. It matters to the small and the great. It matters to the One who had compassion on the multitudes. People are so hungry on our uncertain streets. Some will be able to help themselves one day. Some may never be completely self-sufficient due to illness, age or other circumstances. They look to us to help them sort things out and to be their security when their pockets are empty. We will do so with a message of hope and an encouragement from the word of God.
I am hoping about something myself. I am hoping that you will not tire of being asked to partner with us to bring the love of Jesus to our less fortunate neighbors. My past experience informs my hopes. You have never failed to agree with us in prayer and in financial support. Opportunities for grace abound. Please be generous.
May the Lord bless your life. May Heaven’s ear be to your lips. May every good gift be yours and may some of them come with sprinkles. Sprinkles are special. You can count on us to continue to sprinkle God’s love and mercy upon this city.
Pastor John LaMantia