For about a year now I have had a craving for Kentucky Fried Chicken.® It’s rather unusual, because I’m not one to eat fast food, but I must admit its been calling to me. After most of the year of shutting the thought down, I just decided to get past it and eat some; but the line was long, and the cars just weren’t moving. They must have run out of chicken, and I ran out of time–leaving without chicken!
This past Monday, I was getting ready to go to town to feed the homeless at our local shelter, when I initiated a conversation with the Lord. It is my habit to talk with Him, often, throughout the day so this was not unusual. I’ve been working really hard at paying off my car and house, but at the same time pouring everything I can into books to send to prisons and for the homeless. “Lord,” I said, “You know I want to pay off my house and car, but I just don’t know how I can stretch myself any more.” “So why don’t you believe Me for that?” He replied. You know, He never asks us a question that He doesn’t already know the answer to. He wasn’t asking to find out, but was asking so that I would find out! As I looked inside for the answer, He revealed something in my heart that had been blocking my faith.
I had a few errands to run on the way to the homeless shelter, and a phone call came in as well, so I had put it all out of my mind by the time I got there. There was a pickup truck near the entrance when I arrived and a guy got out of the truck and headed right to me as I was about to unlock the door. I wasn’t afraid, but I was concerned about how I would get in without him seeing the code. When he got near enough, he asked me, “Hey, do you work here?” “I do tonight.” “I just volunteer here on Monday nights.” I replied. “Great,” he said, “Can you use some Kentucky Fried Chicken®?”
“I have 40 dinners here, and I’ve already handed dinners out to everyone that wanted one, can you take them?”
So, what are the chances–
of a Kentucky Fried Chicken® representative showing up on my doorstep with 40 meals?
Not chance at all when God’s involved!
He was so happy I took the meals. Since the homeless got all they wanted at the shelter, I sent them to the park with Bill. He came to drop off the food we would be serving that night. Roast pork loin, fresh vegetables with teriyaki sauce, rice, fresh biscuits and dinner rolls, apple crisp; and tonight, Bill also brought 4 deep pans of fresh croissants, pastries, and giant cinnamon rolls. He had been on his way to bring the food, when he got a call from 9 Bean Rows. They are a local bakery and restaurant that makes the most wonderful bread, pastries and lunches. This place has been incredibly generous this past summer, offering us pastries to give out, quite often, when we served in the park.
I work with 5loaves2fish, and we serve every Monday year round, rain, snow or shine. They started out in the park, but when they heard that if the guests don’t sleep in the shelter, they can’t eat there, they continued all winter at both places. It was when they first started at the shelter that I joined them, which was two years ago. Some are just emotionally incapable of coping with a large group of people in close quarters and they stay in tents all winter. Here in the frozen north, that’s a real tough thing to do! When you are all snug and warm in your bed, think about those that don’t have a real bed. Don’t for a minute think they chose this lifestyle. It is a very hard life they live and my heart goes out to them.
We lavish them with lots of love and heaping plates of great food!
No canned green beans here! Everything is homemade, well, about 98% of it is. Occasionally we feed them hotdogs or brats at the park because they ask for them; and of course, ice cream with fresh strawberries or homemade caramel sauce. Otherwise, everything is made from scratch, even the pasta, and its really, really good! This night a man sought us out at the kitchen door and wouldn’t speak until he had all of our attention–then he just couldn’t speak. I watched him try, as tears welled up in his eyes. He gave the most heart-felt, expressive nod I have ever witnessed; and just turned and left, as the tears took over for him.
He was so overcome, and so were we.
I love these people so much!
So Bill told me to take two dinners home and he took the rest to the park. They too, were getting the same meal we were serving, only it was already plated up in to-go containers and bags. The chicken was an extra surprise for later.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I remembered my conversation with the Lord. I think He must have blocked me from remembering it or maybe it was just that I was too busy thinking about others and serving them, that it never came to mind. When I opened my eyes, before I even had time to think a thought, He said. “I provide in abundance don’t I?” Instantly with that comment, He brought to mind our conversation, the chicken, and 9 Bean Rows; all in a split second, as only He can do!
“So, why don’t you believe for that?” He continued.
Yes, I think I should!
With that I opened my Bible to read–just dropped it open randomly. Have you guessed it already? Yep, where else would He send me but right to John 6, and the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fish!
So, what are the chances of that?
It’s not chance at all when God is involved, is it?
“Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten.” John 6:5-13
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