THE JYG IS UP: Sowing Seeds in Our Community
"... Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me." -Matthew 25:40
SLEW (Student Led Extreme Worship) began with a general feeling of disappointment at the unusually small turnout, and most people wondered aloud what the cause was. What we forgot in that moment was that we only see the things happening now, not what could or will happen. Because despite a less than ideal turnout, the night turned into something bigger than we could have anticipated.
When the high school girls were asked if they wanted to take home the leftover pizzas, many of which were untouched, I assumed they would jump at the opportunity for free food. But what happened surprised me. Without skipping a beat, Kayli asked, "Is it ok if we give them away to people at the laundromat instead?" Our office is in a lower-income part of Tulsa, and we see struggling people on a daily basis, especially in the evenings. Kayli recognized that need, and decided to do something about it.
So Kayli, Kat and I grabbed the pizzas and a stack of napkins, and started down the sidewalk to the laundromat. Just outside our door, we have a bench, and on that bench, you'll usually find J, a homeless man who we see almost daily at The Outpost. J isn't much of a talker, and he usually prefers to come and go without much attention. Kat and Kayli spotted him instantly and asked if he would like some pizza. He was hesitant at first, probably a little overwhelmed by the two loud teenage girls who ran up to him, but warmed up to the girls when Kayli handed him napkin. In exchange for taking the napkin, Kayli gave him a huge smile, and told him he could take as many pieces as he wanted. I took a brief moment to watch them with J, and said a quick prayer of thanks that God has placed in both these girls a desire to reach out to His children.
After saying goodbye to J, we continued toward the laundromat. As we walked in I paused just inside the door, figuring we would work out a game plan for how to best divide and conquer. But once again, these two girls surprised me with their servant hearts. Kat grabbed two of the pizzas without hesitation and walked right up to a man waiting for his clothes to dry. She not only offered him free food, but a genuine smile. I think sometimes we forget that not everyone gets smiled at everyday, and it can have a huge impact on someone.
We continued walking around until all but one pizza was taken, and that pizza ended up going to a scowling young man on his way into the laundromat. We bumped into him on our way out, and when we offered it to him, his face lit up. He told us he had just gotten off work, and hadn't thought he would be able to get dinner. He thanked us several times, and as we walked away, I noticed he was smiling.
If we had our usual SLEW turnout, we might not have had leftover pizzas, and we might not have had the opportunity to reach out to our community and sow seeds of love. What might be a disappointment now, could very well be a blessing in disguise. Thank God for disappointments!
July 18-22: Camp Tulakogee
July 27: Movie Night
July 29: S.L.E.W. at The Outpost
August 5: End of Summer Party