devozine

Spiritual Practice

Beloved

Robin Gericke & Alina Kanaski

Last summer, my dad and I volunteered at a local soup kitchen. Every Friday, we worked with several other volunteers to prepare a meal for two hundred people; then I worked on the serving line. I began to see familiar faces each week. I served a pregnant teenager, who was happy to take a second helping. I peeled potatoes for a man who was always angry, snapping at the volunteers’ cheery hellos. I opened popsicles for the young children. I dried a food tray for a man who had no legs.

The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2 (NRSV)

What did this experience teach me? I learned the trick to peeling onions quickly and chopping five stalks of celery at a time. I learned how to use an industrial can opener. More important, I learned that I am blessed. Other people in my hometown are suffering in ways I may never know. I also learned that we are all united. Though we live different lives, we are all the same because rich or poor, young or old, we are all God’s beloved children.

—Robin Gericke, 16

 

READ MATTHEW 14:13–21. Then do something, even something small, to make a difference. Pick up a piece of trash, smile at someone who’s down, spend five minutes on a website like freerice.com. God will use your small offerings to do amazing things.

—Alina Kanaski, 21

—from devozine (July/August 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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