We stood behind the tables, monitoring how much of each item people took.There were so many people there, most of them Asian. There were a lot of little kids with their parents, too. I got a high five from one of them :) I wondered what they would think as they grew up and realized their poverty. Would people judge them for it? Would they assume they were being judged for it? Would they resent their family for it? Would they work harder because of it? Would they learn to be content and trust God?
As we were watching all of the people go by, I started humming a song: Phil Wickham's Beautiful. I didn't really know the words, so I just kept repeating one line: "I see your face, you're beautiful". I also thought of Matthew 25, where Jesus talks about serving "the least of these". Every one of the people that came by for food was "the least of these". It was His face, and they were beautiful.
We had to set limits on things so everyone would get some. Some of the people tried to take more than we said, because they were so scared of not having enough. They would horde food just so they wouldn't run out. Towards the end, when everyone was packing up, I was giving out the rest of the bananas to people who had come back for seconds. I told one lady that came for seconds how many bananas she could have, then turned around to see people were doing to clean up, so I could help them. When I turned toward the lady again, she had a mountain of bananas in her arms. She would never eat that many bananas, but she was so desperate to have enough that she took more than she needed.
I do this, too. Not with bananas, but that probably has more to do with the fact that I don't like bananas than anything else. But I do horde things. I take extra and plan for things - just in case. Just in case what? In case God fails? My family is not rich. We count how much money we spend when we go grocery shopping. We limit some things and sometimes we have to go without.
But I have never been without something I need.
One of the things this trip has inspired me to do is get rid of some of the excess in my life. One of the first things I did Sunday night when we got back was clean out my clothes. They are still sitting in a pile in my floor, but I'm going to give them to the thrift store when I can. I'm trying to get rid of some distractions so I can focus on God and allow him to work, rather than always trying to provide for myself.
I hope I have the courage to let go.