“Would you like a Starbucks?” Both Patty and I looked at each other and were speechless. The lady, beaming with a warm smile insisted, “let me get you a Starbucks, any kind you like!” She continued to persist until we said yes. To be honest I had never been in this type of situation before-where we were asking for food in snowy 30degree weather. She returned a few minutes later and blessed us with one of the best tasting coffees I have ever had.
Let me back up a bit incase you think things have turned south for the Spykstra’s really fast. Saturday we were helping to collect food for Parker Task Force an awesome ministry that blesses our community with food and so much more as well as supplies food on Tuesdays for the ministry on East Colfax. So here we were bundled in hats and gloves standing in front of a King Sooper’s store and handing out a shopping list of needs for the food bank.
Patty was in tears most of the time as we saw an overwhelming response to the requests. People would bring a whole shopping cart of food and take out one bag for themselves and give us the rest. Little kids would run over to us with a box of cereal and gigantic smiles. People dropped $20’s in the box; one man donated a $100 gift certificate. Another lady shared how when she was down on her luck the Parker Task Force came to her rescue and now it was time for her to give back.
We forgot about the cold, as the storefront became a sanctuary of JOY. It was such a blessing and also humbling to be on the other end of things. From receiving the Starbucks to being handed armloads of food we saw Jesus and His kingdom through so many acts of kindness that day.
Last week I blogged about the first foundation of joy is being FOUND by Jesus and the receiving the overwhelming love of the Father. The second foundation of joy is FINDING Jesus by serving others. As Jesus says in Matthew 25 that when you feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, invite a stranger in, clothe the needy, visit those sick or in prison you do it to Him:
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me,” (vs. 40).
When the lost are FOUND by God and they receive His abundant grace they learn to show gratitude by GIVING BACK to others. The result of this heavenly exchange is JOY. A JOY that is found by finding Jesus in others you serve. If you made your way up to a hospital room to visit a friend, found yourself inviting a lonely college student over for diner, wrote a letter to a prisoner, or gave a cold homeless man your ski jacket, you have tasted the Kingdom and encountered King Jesus in some way. And once you begin to live this lifestyle it becomes contagious.
Our world needs to see JOY and taste the JOY of Jesus desperately. You don’t need to come to Africa with us to experience that JOY it is as close as the person right next to you! Go find someone that may need to be served in some way today, maybe even buy them a Starbucks! Go Find Joy!