The other night I was getting ready to fix some dinner for Doug and me after the kids had gone to bed. I knew that I had not been to the store recently and that our fridge and cupboards were running on empty. The thought ran through my mind: “there’s nothing in the house to make for dinner.”
A few minutes later there was a knock on the door and a good friend of ours was there to pick up some cash we had said he could borrow to hold his family over for a couple of days until he got paid. At one point while he and Doug were talking, Doug asked me if we had any food we could send back with him. I thought he meant prepared food (we had made them a lasagna the week before) and since I hadn’t cooked anything yet I said no. So Doug came in and opened up the freezer and pulled out our last thing of frozen chicken. I realized then that Doug wanted to send him home with stuff they could make, so I grabbed a bag and opened our cupboards and starting throwing in what I could find.
It turned out that my “empty refrigerator and cupboards” held enough food to feed them for the rest of the week. As I handed over the full bag of groceries I was amazed at the miracle I had just witnessed: how God had taken what was, in my mind, empty and made it overflowing with exactly what my neighbor needed.
It was a good lesson on perspective: what is like nothing to me is so much more than what so many around me possess. It is easy for me sometimes to resent what we lack, and it is times like this when my perspective receives a much-needed correction. It is also a lesson on my role and function in this thing called loving God and loving neighbor. I can be, and often am, at a place that feels like I have nothing left to give. I can feel quite empty. But God is present and able to do just that same miracle with me: to take what feels lacking and insufficient and make it exactly what is needed by someone, somewhere.