I stretched my hair net over my curls, washed my hands, and put on gloves. As I walked to the serving station, my eyes scanned the room. Raining and storming outside. A couple hundred people inside. People.
A booming voice emerged out of the crowd, “Let us pray.” I bowed my head and listened. In my heart, I prayed, “Lord, please multiply this food.”
And so it began.
I had the lettuce. It’s the last on the food line, so I get to hand the plate to each person. I love it! It gives me an opportunity to ask how each person is doing, smile, look them in the eyes, and joke with them about getting their veggies.
I see familiar faces every time I go to the homeless shelter, and they recognize me. I’m always humbled and moved when I see years of pain, bruises, and tattered clothes on God’s beautiful children.
Someone on my team set out the condiments. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and all the burger fixings.
A middle-aged woman–not more than 5-feet tall–picked up her plate, turned around toward the tables, and stopped. “Ketchup and mustard?!? That’s rich people stuff.”
She rushed over and piled the condiments onto her plate like a child unattended in a candy store.
Rich people stuff. I don’t know about you, but when I think of the wealthy, I don’t think of condiments. I see fancy cars, a huge home, and other luxuries.
That middle-aged woman sees it differently. I have a car and a home. I have ketchup, and I have mustard. Indeed, I am wealthy.
I may not be where I want to be in life. I may be facing many hardships.
But God has promised never to leave me or to forsake me–whatever my circumstance (Hebrews 13:5). I can take comfort not in the riches of this world, but in the riches of faith, family, friends, food, and yes, ketchup and mustard.
Daphne Tarango is a freelance writer and speaker who comforts others with the comfort she herself has received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). She lives in the Southeastern U.S., where she is a leader in a Bible-based recovery program. Contact Daphne at firstname.lastname@example.org.