Editor’s Note: Laura King, Director Of Development & Public Relations at the Conway Ministry Center, puts out an email each week which, in part, recaps the week at the Storehouse, the food and clothing store provided by the CMC. This is the most recent story. This is the first in a group of stories to showcase those working on the frontlines of social work and ministry in Conway.
I walked into the Storehouse this morning about 45 minutes before it opened. Volunteers were bagging bread and prepping the hygiene room. Our friendly pharmacist from Walgreen’s was setting up for flu shots in the waiting room…for the 9th week in a row. I don’t know how many hundreds of shots they have given at this point. A friend of the CMC was coming through the door to assist with Christmas Mall applications for another non-profit. A huge line had formed outside and all I could think was that this is the most beautiful chaos.
God has reminded me that even in the chaos He cares about the little things that happen. He has an amazing way of making himself known and loving us. God steps into the middle of our need (whatever it may be) and tenderly calms our spirits and says I love you. He did it for me last night and I had the honor of watching Him do it today.
I was able to float between personal shopping and the freezer room for just a few moments today and met a precious soul. As I was explaining section one to her and that she had choices…the biggest smile came across her face. Beaming she asked, “Can I get two boxes of cereal”? I told her “if that’s what you need..it’s your choice”. Over and over she told me how nice this place was and how nice the people here are.
We then began to work our way through the freezer room. She chose a loaf of french bread and a gallon of milk from the cooler, from the freezer she chose a package of pork chops. We turned the corner and she saw all of the fresh bread. She got so excited and said, “oh, can I please exchange my bread for this”. When I told her that this was also part of her choices she couldn’t contain herself. She lightly squeezed some of the loaves and talked about how fresh it was. She told me how much she loved bread and how fresh bread is such a treat. I bagged her loaves separately so that it wouldn’t get smashed and dropped her off at check out. She thanked me for taking care of her and begin to tell another volunteer how great all of this was.
As much as God cares about me and used someone to speak life into me last night…He cares about this client and all the others just as much. He took something as simple as kind words and two loaves of bread to love on that client and speak life into her.
We all need Jesus to speak life into our souls and He uses people to do it. Life is hard sometimes. We walk through things that stretch us to capacity. Of all the hard things that I have walked through I have never done it with food insecurity or wondering where I was going to lay my head that night. The clients that walk through this pantry each month amaze me at their resiliency and ability to keep moving forward even when everything around them screams “give up”.
God loves His creation…all of His creation. He uses the smallest things and the most unlikely of people to love on us and breathe hope into our spirits. We all need hope…we all need love…we all need Jesus to provide for us in tangible ways.