Friday, April 10, 2015

The Abundance of Our King

Honored guests at The King's Feast
Several weeks ago, I told a friend, Scott Walker, about an idea I'd had for years: treat the homeless to a nice dinner, complete with clothes, haircuts, makeup, gift bags. I called it “The King’s Feast,” because all are welcome at the King’s table.

I’ve since learned that you don’t flippantly share ideas with Scott Walker. He takes you seriously. And he just might make it happen.

Within a week after leaking my idea, Scott messaged me (on my birthday!). A church wanted to provide dinner for the homeless. “Wanna help me with this?” 

My reply: “Are you SERIOUS?!”

I had so many things I wanted for these people: clothes, food, undies, socks, gift bags, fast-food gift cards, haircuts, nail polish, makeup, nicely decorated tables. 

However, we only had about two weeks to pull it together. And I was traveling five of those days. If it could be done, there was no way I could do it alone. So I sent a wish list out to the people of the Kingdom, asking for items that could help—if only temporarily—to raise our guests’ perspectives above their current situation.

I needed SIXTY of everything. Even the $5 gift cards alone, in quantities of 60, would be a $300 purchase. But I would ask . . . and hope for the best.

Sunday school classes started collecting. Friends started mailing checks. And I received five gift cards from someone I don't even know in Fulton, Mississippi! (Where is THAT?)

We received gorgeous ladies’ clothes, men’s dress pants, khakis, and golf shirts, shoes, purses, jewelry. We had enough to clothe a hundred women, and we were only expecting eight!

Still, underwear is so expensive. I knew some would have to go without.

But Greenhouse Ministries and a generous friend came through in the nick of time. When the event was over, we donated a dozen extra pair back to Greenhouse Ministries.

And there was no way we could gather 60 Bibles for them all.

But B&H Publishing donated 70!

The gift cards were a total luxury. I knew we wouldn’t have enough.

Yet after collecting all 60, a donor walked into the event with 5 more—5 more than enough!

Even with all the clothes we had, there was no way we would have the right sizes for all sixty guests.

Not only did the guests take all the clothes they wantedwith loads left overthey were also treated to a $10 gift certificate at Greenhouse Ministries Garden Patch Thrift Shoppe.

Barnabas Vision (who had started the whole thing by providing hotel rooms for our guests) donated backpacks for us to stuff as gift bags. “I only have 40 here,” David Coggin said, handing them over.

And somehow, after packing 60 bags, we had 16 left.


But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:16–21)

Silly, silly human that I am, in all of my running and begging and gathering, I had forgotten the whole point of it all. Supplying the needs of sixty people is nothing to our King. With a moment's notice, five loaves, and two fish, He had fed five thousand with a prayer. 

And He's still doing it today. 

(Check out WSMV's coverage of the event.)

1 comment:

Laura L. Smith said...

Oh my goodness. God has been putting the story of the fishes and loaves in my heart so many times recently, over and over again. They hit me so hard today! I am blessed to be your friend, to be friends with someone who would orchestrate such an event, who wouldn't let time, or travel, or unachievable numbers stop her for even a second. You are so amazing, Amy Parker. And our God, well, It blows me away to think of all that He is capable of, and that all we have to do is offer up our baskets with a few measly fish (or words) to watch Him feed the thousands. Thanks for this. And for being you.