Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Groceries and Grace

In fourteen short chapters Laura Willis reminds us how something as simple as a bag of groceries can change someone’s life. Quite often it is the person sharing the groceries that is changed. Laura Willis served for ten years in a rural Tennessee ministry providing help to the community. She leads us through her time with the Community Action Committee with stories of the people who touched her life. Laura Willis makes the connection of how people are hungry not just for peanut butter and beans but also for the word.  For anyone who has worked in a food ministry this is a humble reminder that compassion and grace are just as important as the food we share.
I encourage you to look into helping with a local food pantry. It could be as simple as collecting cans to meeting with clients. Many are not aware of just how much time and heart goes into a ministry like this. Laura Willis has done a brilliant job sharing the mission from both aspects.
From Goodreads...
If your pantry was empty, your children hungry, your electricity cut off for nonpayment, and you saw no prospect of support, what would you do? For a decade in a rural Tennessee community, you went to a shabby building behind a church and found Laura Willis. Running a program to help the needy, Laura discovered a world of people she never knew: the lonely and unemployed, chronically poor families, and middle-class folks surprised to be struggling in a great recession. And to each, she offered a bag of groceries, a compassionate ear, and a heart of love. Taking a tiny food pantry and watching it grow to feed hundreds, Laura learned about her own hunger for God and began to discern her own spiritual directions, learning how her calling card a bag of groceries could be a gift to others and to herself of abundance and grace.

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