A Unique Perspective

Frequently when talking about Thanksgiving, the ideas that come to my mind are two extremes…
  • A generous meal around a large dinner table with family and friends
  • Volunteering with an organization to serve a meal in a soup kitchen to homeless people in NEED
What really defines NEED though can be relative and may require an adjustment of our understanding.

This year, the Bag Brigade served approximately 53 Thanksgiving meals to people from the community considered to be in NEED. They welcomed these individuals to the Marion Elementary School. These individuals were not homeless – each one had a home. They were not jobless – many had employment and an income. They were not alone – they had their family with them. But still these people find themselves lacking and unable to meet their daily NEEDS.

Debbie Grant was kind enough to share her perspective on serving at the Bag Brigade Thanksgiving Dinner for the first time. Her first observation: she was very pleased to be INVITED to serve, rather than volunteering herself. Did you ever consider that maybe the person you see sitting quietly in church wants to volunteer… somewhere, anywhere, but they didn’t know they were WANTED? Sometimes we NEED that little invitation to know that we are WANTED.
The Bag Brigade, as well as other outreach organizations in our church, weekly go out into the community to serve in various ways to meet the NEEDS of others. Working at the HUB, I see the number of people who come through the doors to pick up bags of food to deliver to families in the area. This brings me to the second observation that stunned Debbie: the Bag Brigade delivers 220 bags of food to families in the Belle Vernon Area. Were you aware that there were so many? We live in an area of the world that is certainly not the poorest, but the NEED is still great even here.

Proverbs says: If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord – and he will repay you! Prov. 19:17

Jesus said,
“When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for INVITING those who could not repay you.” Luke 14:12-14

I’m not sure how you may have NEEDED to hear this message today. Maybe you NEEDED to hear this unique perspective of serving our community. Poverty doesn’t always look the way we perceive it. Maybe you NEEDED to be reminded that sometimes an INVITATION is NEEDED, or to be reminded that you are WANTED.

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Ps. 28:7

Thanksgiving can be offered for unusual things sometimes – being INVITED, feeling WANTED, having a home – a job – a family (no matter whether they are adequate or not), organizations that reach out to meet NEEDS, and many other things. What unusual things can you be thankful for today?

No Comments