God’s Family: Living in Community

communityI stopped by this morning to check the mailbox. We got the water bill. It reads -197.51. How did that happen? I guess I should call and clarify. I hear, “Hello,” on the other end. I reply, “Yes ma’am, I am from House of the Harvest and I just got our bill and it says -197.51?” On the other end, “Yes sir, someone put $200 on the account for y’all.”

Wow! If I hadn’t been on this journey for the last several months, I would be in awe; but, the thing is, I am really not any more. Am I grateful? Without a doubt. Beyond grateful. But I am just not surprised anymore. I mean…this kind of stuff happens all the time. And it’s a testimony to an incredible God and the work of His Spirit in the hearts of His children in, what I believe to be a very special community. Let me give you just a few examples…

One afternoon, I am inside cleaning, sorting, and stocking, only there for a couple of hours. In that small window three people stop by. The first guy is walking to his house from the dollar general. He comes in, pulls $6.31 out of his pocket. It’s his change from the dollar store. He tells me, “I just really appreciate what y’all are doing and wanted to give you what I had to help out.” The second asks if he can join me and help out. Then the third comes by and donates a trunk full of deer meat. All in a matter of two hours.

And the stories like this can go on and on. We have had schools raise money to donate to us. We receive donations from people all over the community. We have volunteers come from all different backgrounds to work together. You see black and white, young and old, all kinds of different at House of the Harvest.

On Saturday mornings, the people who are in line to get food (some arriving at 6:30 for our 9:00 opening) help us set up the parking lot, bring out the benches, and set the rope for the line. They help set up chairs and some even offer to come inside and help set up.

Everyone is willing to help where they can. And everyone will surprise you with what they are willing to do. Because it’s bigger than each of us. It  is our community, God’s family, living together, helping each other, providing for each other, and being there for each other. That’s the beauty of House of the Harvest, it is God’s people living in community together. It’s like nothing you have ever seen before. You recall in Acts 2, when the Apostles began to baptize on the day of Pentecost, how everyone sold possessions and property to give to those in need? Our churches today don’t imitate this the way House of the Harvest does…and there is nothing like it.

We typically gather in our churches with people who look like us, think like us, and are so similar to us that we can’t even find differences. And in our churches, we typically look down on those that are different, or maybe we are just unaware of what is going on with those who are different. Point is, in lots of ways, church has become about me being comfortable with my surroundings. For so many of us, House of the Harvest is a place on earth that requires a leap of faith…it requires uncomfortable.

But we grow when we leave our comfort zone. And when people grow…so does community. And that is what happens at House of the Harvest. The community grows…whether you donate, serve, receive, or all of the above. Community grows, community prospers, community wins. And that has been God’s vision for His people from the beginning. You can find it at House of the Harvest.

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