Saturday, September 19, 2009

God Showed Up Again (Big Surprise!)

So since I was planning on going back to Acacia Park again, I was hoping for another good crop of leftovers at work. A friend from church, Tim, was bringing a few food items too (granola bars, fruit, etc.) but I was hoping to give them a full, hot meal. Steak, chicken, mashed potatoes, etc....should be good! Except there were zero leftovers this time! Uh-oh. A little disappointed, I'm resigned to the fact that the food items Tim is bringing will have to do. But not long after lunch, a lady in the office comes by and hands me $30, saying she hoped it would help since there weren't any leftovers.

Score! Silly quickly and easily I was giving up. God intended on providing all along, just differently than how I expected. So I was totally stoked as i hit Albertson's after work and got enough chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad and water for about 20 people. While they were getting the chicken ready, I thought "why not talk to a manager and see if there's anything else they can help with?". So I talked to manager, Eric, and while he said they need a month in advance request through a charitable organization to do "official" donation-type stuff, he let me take 6 loaves of their day-old clearance bread.

I pulled up right next to where Tim had parked and at about 10 til 6:00 we were setting up dinner. No wait this time, I recognized many faces hanging around, and they converged on us before we had gotten anything set up. I said "Hi" to a couple guys walking up, calling them by name. They seem surprised that I remembered their names. Twisted M asks, "Are you here to give us food again?"
"I sure am," I reply.
"You rock!"
Smiles all around.

Not surprisingly, the goes pretty quickly, as there were probably a little over 20 people. There were several new faces from last week, so it was fun learning new names and hearing a little bit about their stories. Vaughn had a bad cold and a headache. Zac was planning on "camping out" at the America the Beautiful park for the night. Bo needs new shoes because the soles are falling off of his current ones. "Mouse" and his wife/girlfriend have 2 kids with them - a 3-year-old and a baby that looked about 6-8 months.

After the food is gone, conversation winds down, and some of the group move on, Tim and I take our leave....but I have one more stop.
Remember Mark from last week? He had told me where he lived - some efficiency apartment across the street from the park. And he had mentioned a few items that he and his wife needed. Tim had brought a couple bags of stuff for Mark. So I went and found Mark.

When I saw him in the lobby of the place, I called out his name, and he spun around surprised. He explained two reasons for his surprise.
1. Most people don't call him by Mark, but by one of his nicknames "Chaos" or "Devran". (??)
2. Most people who he tells where he lives, and say they'll stop by...never do.
He was very appreciative of the items, and I told him I hope to see him again soon.

I tell these things, not to give myself a pat on the back. How could I be "proud" of what "I did", when I had no clue what I was doing?!? Clearly, throughout the day I was again doubting if the trip would be worth it. I had no planned words, and only a vague plan of action.
All of the cool stuff that happened was God
1) telling me to remember that He is in control, and to have faith that He will "show up"
2) telling those I interacted with: "I haven't forgotten you."

Join me in praising such an awesome, generous, merciful, loving God!!