I Found Jesus in Some Pumpkin Pies
As the years progress it becomes more and more evident to me that while we’re looking for God in the big moments we’re missing Him in the mundane, the everyday. If you’re reading this as a Christian, then my guess is that you live (sometimes) with the expectation — and the desire — to walk in those big ministry moments where you’re giving the Sermon on the Mount 2.0 or preaching like Paul at Mars Hill. The bottom line is that the majority of our lives are made up of regular ole’ moments.
The Creator of all is in all . . . and that means pumpkin pie.
Let me explain.
I just got back from a weekend in New York City doing some compassion outreach/ministry to the homeless through the New York School of Urban Ministry. Words fail to describe the experience.
I went in with few expectations because I’ve never been to NYC, I’ve never done any work with NYSUM, and, honestly, I’ve been too busy to mentally prepare. All I knew was that I wanted the big ministry moments of salvation and seeing people instantly set free from oppression in the name of Jesus.
After seeing the pastor/president of the ministry stand on a folding chair in the back streets of the Bronx and preach the Gospel to a rowdy bunch of homeless people waiting eagerly for food & supplies without fear or hesitation, I got to thinking — what’s my purpose here?
After praying with a woman and her autistic son in the homeless shelter among its violent inhabitants; after offering answers of hope to a man sleeping on an exhaust vent; after talking with a homeless woman with paranoid schizophrenia, I just kept on thinking — what’s my purpose here?
Many of the things we were doing we could do at home in Pittsburgh, but we don’t . . .
To Serve, Not to be Served.
My answer came in Brooklyn.
We were partnering with a church in a community primarily made up of immigrants from Jamaica & the Caribbean. We were there to serve about 450 Thanksgiving meals to the poor & homeless in the neighborhood. One of the women told me she had never tasted pumpkin pie!
My mind was still fuzzy with thoughts of purpose, wondering what my ministry opportunity was and where I would get to deliver a powerful message.
Then it hit me.
I was cutting the pumpkin pies in the back of the kitchen while the rest of our team was delivering plates of food and talking/praying with people. I got lost in the work. Prayers began pouring out over the pies: “Jesus let them taste your sweetness in this pie”. I realized I was exactly where I needed to be. Serving and praying, providing for others with absolutely no chance for my pastor-ego to be stroked. I could not receive thanks, recognition, or anything. I did not need to say a word. I didn’t need to give a sermon.
My purpose for that moment was quiet servitude.
Jesus met me there in the mundane task of preparing pumpkin pie.
Seek and You Shall Find.
My encouragement to you is this — look for the ministry of Christ in everything you do. While it is good to have expectancy that He is at work, maybe it’s not the best to have specific expectations as to what it might look like. Jesus is in all, in you, and over all. His love covers everything.
If even the most mundane of tasks were approached with the praying heart of a compassionate servant then more true ministry would take place.
Seek Him first in all that you do. The rest will follow.