For the past two years, I have been going into M2A which is a dorm inside of the Elmwood Jail Facility. I am well known and have worked with a specific Spanish-speaking group there. A few weeks ago, the incarcerated leader approached me with a granola bar in his hand. He was smiling as he presented the granola bar to me. He said that it was a gift.
That granola bar could be listed as one of the few items he owned. He had some notebooks and pencils and some books, and one granola bar. If I had to make my own personal inventory, the list would be longer and even if I did have a granola bar in my kitchen, I don’t think it would make the list.
But the granola bar is much more than just a granola bar. For him, it was an opportunity to be generous. Unfortunately, I was unable to take the gift as it is against the rules to do so with anything inside of correctional facilities. But I told him that I was grateful and blessed to be thought of.
This leader in M2A has placed his hope in God. He sees all he has, all of his possessions and he gives praises to God for them. He has a small, limited space to keep some possessions and to lie down; that is it. Yet this man is considering others.
In his poverty, he gives gifts.
I am kind of glad that the study notes this past Sunday had the words already filled in because I read one particular phrase over and over: Hope in God frees us to be generous. During the whole sermon I was thinking about that granola bar. I was thinking about how limited the M2A leader is and how he still had to be generous. He was free, regardless of where he was or what he had. His hope was in God.
This Sunday, there will be a BBQ at noon! The team heading to the Dominican Republic will be hosting with some musical numbers and readings as entertainment. It will be an opportunity to learn more about the trip and the people going, as well as an opportunity to consider giving for the trip.
Pray your week is great!