That little firehouse kitchen had been through a lot in it’s fifty some-odd years of operation. It wasn’t super well equipped. There was an old gas stove that never cooked anything evenly, a microwave from the first Bush administration, and a bunch of broken-door cabinets that were rotting from ceiling to floor. It had seen better days. It served its purpose well during the time that it housed a crew of volunteer firefighters. When that group was in the building they were working. A kitchen probably isn’t of the most value in volunteer fire department. They didn’t build it the building to have a place to eat. They built it to serve the community. And that’s what they do. And they do it well.
It had been over two years since we moved into the building. That little kitchen was the only space that really wasn’t being utilized for serving our community. That was important to me because that is why God put the building in our hands. The problem was you can’t cook and serve breakfast to two hundred people from a gas stove that doesn’t work and an old microwave.
It started simple...cheese quesadillas on Wal-Mart griddles. Maybe even some bacon every now and then. Sometimes we would even cook in the parking lot. But then one Saturday God put all the right people in the room. It wasn’t orchestrated or manufactured. Nobody arranged for everyone to be there and in that tiny kitchen at the same time. It just happened.
And as the conversation about breakfast started, it just grew among the three of them to what it could be. There was a lady in the room that was really passionate about giving the people a place to sit down together and eat and build relationships with each other. There was a man in the room that really had a vision for how the work needed to be done, what it was going to take, and how it would be best organized. There was another man that had a vision for what breakfast in that old firehouse building would look like. And it all just came together into a dream.
We had a great dream. And we had rotted cabinets, a ceiling that was water-stained from old leaks, and that old gas stove that I think may have been in the background of some of my dad’s childhood photos. But we had a dream. Later on that same week the right person would be “in the room” two more times. The first person offering to provide the money for all the needed repairs. The second person offering to provide the money for all the needed appliances. They didn’t ask, only offered. And just like that breakfast at House of the Harvest became a real thing.
No more standing in line waiting for another quesadilla to come off the griddle. Eggs, sausage, and biscuits and gravy every Saturday morning. Like Cracker Barrel...minus the check out. And everyone eats together, and socializes, and relationships are being built...community is being built. Because people need each other. And we don’t realize that the way we used to. We can all do or be anything with the right support system. We are here to make each other better. It’s our calling.
And since breakfast started that Saturday, there has been a different Spirit in the air at House of the Harvest. People are interacting, engaging with each other, and caring about each other. And that makes all the difference in the world.
I won’t ever forget breakfast coming together like it did. It happened so fast. Things that are driven by the Holy Spirit just happen so easy. We were at House of the Harvest on a regular Saturday morning. And all the right people were there in the kitchen together, somehow all brought together. It wasn’t orchestrated. It wasn’t manufactured or planned. It just happened. And it changed everything.
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiaster 11:5