Sometimes I get offended when people call it a food bank. Maybe I shouldn’t, but it makes it sound as if people just walk up to a counter, stand there, then someone behind the counter passes across a box and checks off a number. And that’s not really what we do. That’s not what we have ever intended to do. In fact, if that was what we were doing, we would probably have a pretty difficult time finding help. The thing is, relationship bank or prayer bank probably doesn’t turn many heads. Either way…that’s what we desire for people to find. And some of them do. The ones that are looking for it. Jesus said something about that seek and you will find.
I get that food is what we give out. I get that is what brings people. That’s why there’s a line out there every Saturday morning. That’s why people are there as early as 2:00 AM sometimes. But what we desire is relationships, community, transformation. As I like to say, “What you are becoming?”
That’s what is important for each of us. Not what we were. Not what we did. Not what we are now. What we are becoming. That is the work of the Spirit of God. That’s what I desire for myself, our volunteers, and our families…to become more. I hope we aren’t only “that place that gives people food.” I hope we are “that place that shows people that someone cares” or “that place where people really do have this crazy trust in God” or “that place that helped me become a better version of myself.” Kinda like what happened this last Saturday...
I was walking across the street. He saw me coming. He was all smiles. Actually there isn’t many times that he isn’t all smiles. He is one that I look forward to seeing on Saturday mornings, and miss when he isn’t there. You know how some people just have that way about them. It seems nothing ever brings them down. He’s one of those people. I like those kind of people. They make life seem so easy...no matter their circumstances.
I see him across the parking lot. He hollers out to call me over. “Hey Pastor…” in a come talk to me kind of way. For the longest I would say, “I’m not a Pastor. Just Adam.” He calls me ‘Pastor’ anyway. I finally just let it ride. I’ve been called worse. Much worse.
I walk over to where he is. Smiles still...we clasp hands...bro hug. You know.
“Man, what are you grinning about this morning?” I ask.
“I got a raise.”
“Rock on dude! Where are you working?”
“Metro Diner. I’m a cook. Been cooking all my life. I love my job. And you know what?”
“Tell me,” I reply.
“One of your people here got me that job. Yes sir, eight months ago. Been there ever since. Moving me up.”
My reply, “Amen. I’ll smile about that too.”
“Thank you, Pastor.”
Now that’s good stuff. That makes me proud. Welcome to the transformation bank. We give out relationships. We give out love. We give out prayer.
Oh, and...we help each other become more. That’s my favorite part.
“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Luke 6:40