the benefits of begging.

A couple weeks ago, our church had a “Family Scavenger Hunt” that was to benefit our church’s food pantry.  Each family was given a sheet of instructions that included a list of food items.  Each item was assigned a different point value, and the goal was to get as many points as possible.  We grabbed our list, and off we went to a neighborhood that had safe sidewalks for our girls to go door to door.   Pulling their little red wagon behind, the people didn’t stand a chance.  The cuteness level of our daughters was breaking any sort of measuring device that day, and we got 2nd place in the “Hunt”.  But we won, also.

We won because it was an experience of wrapping the story of our family in the even larger story of God’s moving in our world.  I’ve posted before on the fact that wherever “Kingdom work” is being done, the veil between heaven and earth becomes just a bit more thin.  We joined God’s work in marrying heaven and earth that day, and our daughters experienced the joy of being connected to feeding the hungry.

Rewind almost 20 years, and see my own family.

We didn’t live on the streets.  We had clothes, and gas, and all that.  But we were hit by life pretty hard, and lived on foodstamps and the donations of some church food/clothing pantries for a season.  My kids have no idea the story they’re connected to, but someday I’m sure they’ll learn.  My hope is that they’ll be thankful for where we’ve come from, but receive their IDENTITY from where we’re going.  Our prayer is that the story we’re telling through our family today becomes the plot they find their character being developed within – with a resurrection-powered resolution on the far horizon, but moving ever closer.

The more moments we share as a family that are centered on joining in the work and heart of Jesus – the more likely my children will naturally see this as the story they are growing up into.  As parents, it’s so much more than simply taking our children to church, or even praying with them at meal times.  It’s about learning the heart of Jesus ourselves, and then just as we do when crossing a busy parking lot, we say to our children with outstretched arms, “Hold daddy’s hand.”

As we invite our children to walk with us, as we follow Jesus, some pretty amazing things can happen.   The hungry can be fed.   The unloved can be loved.  Heaven and earth can come crashing together.  As our kids experience this reality, they continue to be challenged by a world who’s commercials present a completely different reality of self-absorption.  With their hands in ours, we move through this journey of sharing the resurrection power of Jesus Christ with a world in need of healing and New Life.

Kinda feels worth skipping soccer practice, eh?
How is your family finding itself in the midst of the Story God is telling this week??

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