One person. One idea. Mixed together, the two ingredients stirred the imagination of others.
It was a vision of a lovely dinner — one with "company best" in mind — that began to simmer in a young woman's heart a few years back. Robin's thought was to create an evening gourmet meal at her church in Bothell, Wash.
But this party wouldn’t be another get-together for the Northlake Christian members — at least not as guests.
Instead, “Dinner at Our House” would be for the community’s lonely, discouraged and people in need.
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Robin believed she had a perfect recipe to put faith into action. So, she enlisted the “Helping Hands” volunteer ministry at her place of worship and from there it boiled over with enthusiasm.
The plan developed and word spread.
There’d be real dishes — not paper plates — and atop fabric-covered tables decorated with centerpieces, stainless utensils and ice-filled water glasses.
Dinner would be graciously served tableside. Hosts would welcome and listen. At the end of the meal, guests wouldn’t leave empty-handed. There would be a bag of groceries filled to the brim.
That God-given inspiration has been taking the bite out of hunger for more than five years now.
This past week, as a guest of my longtime friend, I sat mesmerized as grannies, moms or dads — children in tow — joined others “down on their luck” in this economy.
“I’ll never forget,” Pat told me, “the evening a very sad-faced young man arrived after spotting the invitation on the church marquee, asking if he was too late for dinner.”
She recounted how he’d lost his job that day and couldn’t face the prospect of an empty house with only his dreary feelings as company.
“He seemed so much happier when he left,” Pat remembered, her voice filled with emotion, “and I realized how the warmth of conversation and a home-cooked meal could make a difference.”
While I watched helpers clear and wash dishes for more than 100 guests, my heart stirred with thankfulness for all the individuals who donate their time and talents for this monthly event. Not only are they feeding the hungry, but they’re also serving up God’s love — “the salt of the earth,” the Bible would say.
One person. One idea. It’s food for thought.