It all started with a conversation among women about shoes. Six hours later, we were sending 60 pairs to Haiti.
That’s what happens when hearers of the Word become doers of it. That’s what happens when we “eat this book” and let Christ turn our five loaves and two fishes into a feast for sharing.
“And he said to me:… eat all that thou shalt find: eat this book.” — Ez. 3:1
The seven of us were sitting on couches and recliners in the living room. We sipped second cups of coffee and propped God-inspired, leather-bound Nourishment on laps. Scripture told us that we needed to spend ourselves, to do what is right for the glory of God.
And that’s when the Multiplication of Giving began.
Don’t we women have so many shoes? Sandy asked. She said she cleared out her closet of extras this week and sent them to the city for the Haiti shoe drive.
Trish darted eyes at me, smile already forming. I shot a glance at Sarah. Joyce reached in a purse. And ’round the room it went. Words shared; dollar bills traded. Rides offered; shoes exchanged. Giddy voices; eager hearts.
Our morning meal — Bread of Life and Living Water — was about to become a potluck. We’d find a few pairs in our closets. We’d tell others before we left for Sioux Falls, S.D., at noon. We’d buy shoes at the local consignment shop, during the store’s 75 percent off sale. (How timely, this sale???)
But the shopkeeper gave us all 20 pairs for free!
A man came down the street with an extra pair.
A $20 bill here, a $20 bill there, and we could help with shipping collected shoes to barefoot friends in Haiti.
While we were at it, why not drop off magazines and books at the Banquet, which feeds homeless and low-income in Sioux Falls?
This was Contagious Giving: It started with the Word at 8:30 a.m. and multiplied in six hours. We delivered more than 60 pairs of shoes and collected more than 100 devotionals, magazines and children’s books for homeless and low-income people in the Sioux Falls area.
We ate the Book, and multiplied its goodness. (Others had already done the same! The shoe-drive coordinators had hoped to collect 250 pairs. They’ve received more than 2,000 pairs already.)
We don’t stop in the Book; we go through it to meet Him — and to feed others.
We collected words and
soles for Souls.
The Bread of Life put words in hands
and soles on feet
and asked us: Would we share?
Would we be the hands and feet of Jesus?
“Everything, you know, depends on the Book. God talks in the Book. There is a living Presence here. There is a Voice that comes in the Book, a Hand that reaches out, a throbbing Heart that beats. Everything roots in the Book. But you don’t stop in the book; you go through it to Him who comes through it to you.” — S.D. Gordon
How can we Eat the Book, and Multiply the Feast together? Here are some ideas. Please share yours in the comment box.
Collect food: Put a wicker basket at the entrance of your church. Encourage gifts of canned goods and cereal, for sure, but why not put in a package or Oreos or potato chips, too? Unexpected graces bring smiles.
Give words: Find out if your local feeding ministry hands out magazines or books to the needy. See if your church has outdated devotionals, such as Portals of Prayer, that would otherwise be tossed. And when you stop by to drop them off at the center, see if you can sign up to serve in the food line. We feed bodies and souls.
Equip the needy: Many food pantries, homeless shelters and feeding ministries collect school supplies, especially at this time of year.
Pass it on: Instill in your child the gift of Contagious Giving. Let them serve alongside you at a shelter. Help them examine their own bookshelves for books they might donate.
Donate flannel: Overseas mission agencies sometimes collect the fabric for blankets or diapers.
Thank Him; Ask Him: For what we have; for where we might spend ourselves.