Standing In Line

Starbucks logo
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been venturing away from my usual Starbucks.
It’s been interesting to see how different each Starbucks is and the different people it attracts. The current one I’m at is near a high school, and therefore, a lot of younger people have been coming and going.

At one point, there was a rush and a good line starting forming.
And people waited. Patiently.
It started to make me think what else we stand in line for:
Movie premieres
Amusement park rides
Black Friday
The new Apple gadget
Entering a venue/event

Recently, I noticed a different group of people standing in line for something else. Food.
Not because a new restaurant opened or because people were trying to get into a chic/popular eatery.
But because they had no other option.
And it wasn’t great food.
One time, it was bologna sandwiches.
Another, good ‘ole, reliable PBJ.

Either way. These people were willing to stand in line for the sacked lunches. Every Thursday, our church sends a group of people to hand out sack dinners to those who may need it. Every Thursdays, there is a line of people, families, waiting for our small group to arrive. Whether it’s cold, hot, windy, rainy… they wait. In line.

Once, we took a group of Jr. Highers to go and serve along with the adults.
I don’t think I did a great job of letting these kids know why we were doing this.
“They have cars! How poor can they be?”
It is hard to picture people in need when we live where we live.

But, I asked them, “When was the last time you stood in line in the cold for a sandwich, chips and juice?” (It was in the winter when we went.)
“… well… never….”
Maybe that point reached home.
Maybe they had already made up their mind that this was more of a chore than a calling to serve. Either way, it was my fault for not being more clear on the “why.”

But that question still rings in my head. “When was the last time you had to stand in line?” Not for something I wanted; nothing for something out of keeping up with my joneses; not for luxury; but for necessity. For survival.

It often puts our first world problems into perspective. Check that. It puts my problems into perspective. A perspective that I often need.

I forget how blessed I am.
More importantly, I forget that I’m placed in a situation, a position to be a blessing to others.
I forget, in my self-centeredness, to think about my neighbors.

This week is a good week to be reflective of this.
Tomorrow, we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples.
It is where his disciples partook in the first Eucharist.
Eucharist basically means “good gift.”

Eucharist is a good gift given to us, and the world.
And for me, it’s a reminder for us to be a good gift, as well, for the world.

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