How My Four-Year Old Was Christ to the Homeless

“Mommy, can we go to the store and buy food for people who don’t have a home?”

I was taken aback by my daughter’s request as we pulled out of her preschool parking lot. “Of course. Let’s do it now,” I said, because I knew that if we did our normal, the beautiful idea may get lost in the rhythm of the day.

So we drove to Kroger and did the holy work of choosing sandwiches and apples and juice and chips. She scanned the items and planned how we would distribute it all.

“Where did you come up with the idea, Ellis?”

“Just in my head,” she said. And I knew the Holy Spirit was doing His work.

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So we acted on my four-year old’s courageous kindness and drove around looking for the familiar faces we passed every time we went to Kroger and Walmart and Lowe’s. But it was cold and we spotted only one man, hunkered down on a crate. I rolled down Ellis’ window and she handed him the bag.

We headed north to Harding Place and searched for our treasure at the intersection.

We weren’t disappointed as the stoplights there were a hub for those requesting help in the chilly air. “Do you know where the mobile shelter is set up tonight?” One man asked me as he took the food. Before I could look it up, the light changed and he waved goodbye.

We made it around to each corner and every time she released the bag of food into an outstretched arm, I was in awe of the mysterious beauty of the exchange.

We give from Christ and we give to Christ.

I let it sink in. It’s still sinking in that whatever we do for the “least of these” we do for Him, yet in the giving we are His hands and feet to the world.

“For from him and through him and for him are all things…”

We ate lunch when we arrived home that day, thankful for the sustenance of our meal. I asked Ellis how she was feeling. “Happy.” she said. Then she sat quietly and stared out of the window.

As my daughter stretched her arms out of our minivan that day, they became Christ’s arms reaching to a hurting world: a cross beam reminder that Jesus is at the intersection of loving and being loved, of generosity and need, and of the broken serving the broken.

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