There's something about a cold, juicy,sweet piece of cantaloupe on a hot day that just hits the spot! I suppose anything cold has that effect when you're subject to our Texas summer heat! This past weekend we had an awesome group of volunteers come to our weekly meal at Love and Care and serve the homeless dinner. For dessert, they had trays upon trays of fresh cantaloupe and watermelon.
For the record, I think watermelon is wonderful, too... but this story relates specifically to this amazing orange fruit. Just take a moment here and picture yourself savoring your own piece...............
Pretty wonderful, right?
After feeding over 100 of our friends, there was still a TON left over! That's always a blessing because that means we get to carry the love on to somewhere else! I usually will take left-overs to the Palm House for the kids or some of the neighbors. On Tuesday we had a little gathering of neighbors and watermelon seemed to be the fruit of choice. Consequently, we were still left with an abundance of cantaloupe...
Definitely not wanting any to go to waste, I felt like I was supposed to let God lead me to certain people that could really use some refreshment and love. I always get really excited for these "giving adventures." I put all of the remaining cantaloupe in individual bags and asked my friends Chauncey and Katie if they wanted to help me pass it out. They were super excited to help. That Thursday we met at the Palm House and prayed before we left, asking God to take the lead and open doors for love encounters with people.
We piled in the car and just started driving.
No agenda, no plan, just the belief that God was with us and would take us to good things.
HE ALWAYS DOES!!! And he definitely took us on an adventure!
We saw three car wrecks (which I've never seen happen in one day in Abilene). The first wreck happened seconds before we got there. We hopped out and were able to connect to one of the drivers who had hurt his leg somehow, and while we waited for the cops and ambulance to get there, we prayed for him. He broke down crying and just kept saying thank you. The wreck and his injury really had him shook up, so I beleive God sent us there to release peace and healing over him. Once the paramedics got there we blessed him and left...
We found homeless friends, some who were walking in the hot sun and others that were resting in the shade. Both times, at least one of us already had relationship with them! One of the ladies that Katie knew had a broken ankle and was using a brace along with crutches, so we were able to pray healing over her. We didn't see major improvement then, but still got to believe for more. All of them definitely appreciated the cold melon!
We felt led to stop for a woman at a bus stop who looked like she was upset. We were able to give her a ride so she didn't have to wait for the bus. While we drove and she ate her melon, we got words of knowledge about some issues in her family that were causing seperation and other past relationships that had been hurtful. As she cried, we were able to speak truth and healing into those places and pray with her.
We saw a car broken down on the side of the road and were able to help the driver push it out of the way. He told us he was a pastor and had a bumper sticker saying something like "God is good."
We saw a man pushing his bike down an alley and gave him a bag as well.
From big interactions to small ones, God was releasing His love to people. We had given out 14 bags and only had two left. When we got to this point, it seemed like there was no one to be found! We kept praying, asking God to just show us two more people to share our fruit with... As we drove past some apartments down the street from the Palm House, we saw a couple sitting outside their door on the sidewalk. We parked, got out and walked over to them.
It can be a little intimidating seeing 3 strangers making a B-line in your direction, smiling and holding bags of orange "who-knows-what." In general, I can expect to get an initial bewildered/worried/ready-to-fight look from people. But tell them you have cantaloupe.... and that look turns into confused interest!
We told them what we'd been doing and that I worked down the street and the conversation just kept on going. We went from standing to kneeling to sitting, getting comfortable in our spots as God moved. The minutes turned into an hour, and as time kept going, it seemed as though our hearts kept expanding for this couple. We got words of knowledge about both of their pasts, families, hurts and what kept them from God, words of hope for their present and words of prophecy for their future. Gods love for them was so evident and so tangible. His presence was real and His word was alive. We prayed over them, exchanged contact inforamtion, hugged them and then left. Our tray that was once full of fruit was empty, but our hearts were overflowing with the love and goodness of God.
All in all, it wasn't about the cantaloupe. It wasn't about the prayers or the prophecy. It wasn't about us.
It was about them...
That they felt seen and known and loved by God.
We used what we had, and who doesn't love cantaloupe? But more than that, who doesn't need love?
Luke 3:11: And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
2 Corinthians 9:10: Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;