Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…
Mark 10:45
Saturday was a day of service for our family, and what an incredible day it was.  We, along with our weekend group at church, went to the Portland Promise Center to serve families in the Portland community.  The event was an Easter gathering - complete with food, a Bible story, a picture with the Easter Bunny, and an egg hunt.

Josh and I were really looking forward to the opportunity, especially as part of Easter weekend.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus!  We talked to the kids about our purpose that day - we were there to serve.  We were expecting approximately 130 people, so there was a lot to do.  We encouraged our kids to meet the kids from the community and make them feel welcome.  Dylan held the door as families entered, helped with the food, and hid eggs.  The girls mingled a little and hid a few eggs as well.

Then came time for the big egg hunt.  We stood back and watched as all of the kids excitedly ran into the yard to fill their bags.  Our kids - the girls especially - wanted to hunt for eggs as well, and although it would have been fine for them to take part alongside the others, we really wanted them to focus not on themselves, but on the joy the other kids were experiencing because of their service.  We explained to them beforehand that many of the kids they would meet don’t have the same opportunities as they have in life and that this day would be a day of great excitement for them.  We wanted our kids to appreciate that.  We wanted to plant the seed of service in their hearts.

Then, as we stood there, the most amazing thing happened.  The day took on a completely different meaning for our family.  A mom of one of the kids noticed that Brooklyn had an empty bag and took some eggs from her daughter to give to Brooklyn.  Then at almost the same moment, another mom and her daughter gave an entire bag of eggs to Kynlee.  Of course, my initial reaction was to say thank you, but to tell them that they didn’t have to do that.  I saw, though, that they genuinely wanted to give.  They were so very kind.  Then, I was completely humbled in the next moment.  My eyes filled with tears as two boys - maybe a couple of years older than Dylan - noticed him just standing and commented that they were sorry that he didn’t get any eggs, and they gave him some of theirs.  No prompting from any parents - just two boys with probably very little in life - giving.  Incredible.  We went to serve, and we left being served.  We went to bring Jesus to them, and we left with them bringing Jesus to us.