I believe in miracles. I just never guessed that a miracle would involve a mission of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. During the summer months I spend part of every Wednesday traveling the country roads surrounding my town delivering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A devoted group of volunteers gathers midweek in our church’s fellowship hall to slather slices of bread with peanut butter and jelly in an effort to feed our community’s hungry children.
The first part of the miracle begins as an assembly line forms midmorning. Purposeful hands make sandwiches, while others stuff brown paper lunch bags with granola bars, applesauce, fruit, veggies and homemade cookies. Coolers are filled with ice and bottled water is packed in tight. Baby food and formula is set aside for the families with infants.
There is no official sign-up sheet for this ministry. Eleven o’clock dawns on Wednesday morning and through the door the workers pour in. Despite summer camps, swimming lessons, crazy schedules and family vacations, they come. Although you may not see exactly the same faces each week, there is always more than enough help to get the lunches packed, the vans loaded and the lunches delivered. This is the body of Christ at its best, working in miraculous precision.
Part two of the miracle happens as we deliver the lunches to grateful families. My group drives our big, white church van filled primarily with colleagues from my school. Distributing the food offers up opportunities to continue to connect with our students and their families. We speak words of love, listen as problems are shared, offer up encouragement and pray.
It always amazes me how receptive most people are when I ask if they would like for me to pray with them. Sometimes I have just met them and have to ask their name before I begin praying. They might feel a bit awkward at first as I take their hand and pray out loud, but afterwards I see it. It is the look in their eyes that tells me that they have been acknowledged before the throne of God as a person of worth. That, my friend, is a miracle. A peanut butter and jelly mission miracle.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ” Matthew 25:40