This past weekend was Family Weekend at George Fox University, where our son Alex is a sophomore. We enjoyed a fun Friday night dinner at the “Bone” as the students call it and then went to the play on campus. Saturday traditionally is family bingo night, which we enjoyed last year. However, this year Alex asked us to join him and an organization he has been involved with called, Urban Services.
A component of Urban Services is going to Salem to feed homeless people under one of the bridges in downtown. Alex has made this a Friday night routine, having made friends with many homeless folks who show up every week. Being a highly relational person Alex enjoys most getting to know these new friends and meeting them where they are in life.
A few of these college students recognized a while back that the only night of the week that their homeless friends were not getting a meal was on Saturday. They decided to do something about this and put together a grass roots effort to bring food and fellowship on yet another cold, wintry night.
Alex asked me to make some soup. As I cooked on Saturday morning I found myself overwhelmed with a sense of humility and responsibility. The soup I was preparing might be the only meal these folks consumed that day. I found myself adding more potatoes, carrots and meat, wanting to be sure the soup would be nourishing and filling.
Todd and I arrived with 2 batches of soup, a roll-a-table, our camp stove, and a flat of water. A couple loaves of bread were added and some sliced apples. This was truly a humble, simple effort to share that which these students could pull together.
I know I talk a lot about service, and I would have to admit that I believe serving is one of the cornerstones of grounded, confident, successful parenting. Yet again, as I reflect on the weekend that was designed to inform us as parents about the fine education our children are getting at GFU, nothing could have been more impactful for me than dishing out hot soup in the dark, cold of night to hungry people who graciously thanked me and shared a smile.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Alex is getting an excellent education at GFU, but more importantly, Alex is learning what living for Jesus is all about….and this of course is priceless.