Poverty in America is on the rise. Although poverty in the U.S. is far different than poverty in many other countries one thing is universal, the children suffer most. What do we do about it when we’re struggling just to hang on ourselves? I heard a story this week that is a moving reminder of how a simple act of kindness can not only fill a child’s stomach, but also transform their heart’s and change their destiny.
Janice was a high school junior when she met Mary. They played on the softball team and shared some classes. It didn’t take long, however, for Janice to realize that one thing they didn’t share was lunch. Mary never ate lunch, nor did she have a snack before practice. Janice was concerned that her lack of nutrition would cause weariness and a weakness that could affect her studies and softball.
Janice didn’t know what to do. As she and Mary became better friends she discovered that Mary’s mom paid little or no attention to her daughter. Their apartment was often without food, but rarely without alcohol. Janice wanted to help her friend but didn’t want to offend her. With her parents help, Janice discovered a way.
Janice’s dad began packing a lunch each day for both girls. When the noon bell rang, Janice made sure to seek Mary out and offer the lunch that was packed especially for her. Janice and her family fed Mary for 2 years simply by taking a little extra time to pack an additional lunch.
Over the next few years Mary saw God’s love in action through Janice and her family and knew she wanted what they had. Janice and her mom were with her when Mary surrendered her heart to Jesus and trusted in His saving grace.
Last weekend Mary married the man of her dreams and is joining him in full-time ministry to college students. The wedding was small. Only a few of her family members attended, but Janice and her mom were there along with many college students whose lives are being changed because of Mary and her new husband. Tears of joy overflowed.
What started with feeding a young girl’s stomach has multiplied into feeding the soul’s of countless more. And it all started with a little extra lunch.
Increasing poverty will provide many opportunities for others to see God’s love and provision through us. How can you and your family meet the needs of those around you? A little bit can go a long way!