Recently, a small group of people from Church of Redeemer in Highland Park gathered at Love INC’s headquarters in Zion to distribute “starter kits,” basic household items for families in need. As you might imagine, it is a difficult thing to enter a stranger’s home bearing items the family needs, Bibles in hand, ready to pray. It is uncomfortable, and a bit scary. So why do we get up early and give up a Saturday morning to do something so… awkward? Does it really make a difference, to spend such a brief amount of time with people who we don’t know and will likely never see again? Wouldn’t it be sufficient to simply hold occasional drives to gather donations of needed items and let Love INC do the rest? These are a few of the questions I considered going into the distribution time Saturday morning.
After Saturday, I am more convinced than ever of the importance of actual, physical participation in ministry experiences. Together, the partner churches of Love INC accomplish something that one church alone cannot. And without volunteers like us, that work won’t get done.
But there is another, perhaps more compelling reason to participate: it brings us face-to-face with true need. For many of us, it is easy to forget that the comfortable lifestyles we enjoy are not the “default” for others in our very midst.
Another of the volunteers who served offers the following reflection:
“As a Christian, I am called to help the poor. This means that when I don’t, I am missing out on the fullness of what God intends for me. Through Love INC, God has given us an opportunity to fulfill this part of our calling. So working with Love INC is something I need as a Christian.”