My friend and colleague, John, called me Thursday afternoon with an incredible offer. “Mike, I’m headed to Mission Central to pick up 500 flood buckets. Want to come along? I’m leaving in a couple of hours.” Mission Central is in Mechanicsburg, PA, about an 8 hour trip from here. It is a central warehouse distribution center for United Methodist Committee on Relief, sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference. It houses relief kits, representing thousands of persons putting prayers and caring into the form of health kits, flood buckets, birthing kits and more. As John puts it, we are putting shoe leather to our prayers. How could I turn down such an offer?
Good Friday morning, 1 AM, found us outside the warehouse, dropping off health kits assembled in New England (another story), and loading 504 flood buckets into a trailer and pickup bed. Eric, the director of the center, and another helper, were there to greet us and help us load. I couldn’t help but be inspired by their willingness to come out in the early morning, on their day off, to help out flood victims in New England.
By the way, a flood bucket contains things like trash bags, bleach, rags, detergents, gloves, and more in a five gallon pail with a lid on top. It won’t make everything alright for a flood victim. But it will help them get a start on the hard task of clean up. Just maybe it might also say that someone cares. (Prayers with shoe leather on them)
After a couple of hours sleep, we were off that same day to deliver the buckets to a food bank in Providence, RI and a Salvation Army church in New Bedford, MA. They would continue the shoe leather prayer, passing the buckets to persons in need.
All this made me wonder, what if we made shoe leather prayer a primary sign of following Jesus? What if Christians became known primarily is those persons who put flesh to their prayers?
Here’s hoping we all find ways to pray with our hands and feet.