Dateline: May 23, 2009, Saturday night:
I just returned from picking up bread at Panera Bread. Wayne is in Kansas City this week, so my job tonight was to pick up the bread, and tomorrow, I will be delivering it to Greg, who will then take it down to Mexico. Although I have picked up the bread from various places with Wayne before, this marks the first time I have done it alone. And while it is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to share with you what I experienced.
As I pushed the shoppping cart into Panera Bread, I saw a young man struggling to put a box together, which would contain some of the pastries he would be giving to me. I told him who I was, and he pointed out where the bags of loaf bread and bagels were. So I dragged them up into the shopping cart (bread is HEAVY, MAN!!), and stood waiting for him to finish up. He asked me if I wanted the other pastries too, and I told him yes. As he scooped up the various muffins, cookies and other items, and carefully placed them in bags, I found myself becoming overwhelmed and I even started to cry. The first feeling that flooded my thoughts, was that all of this food would be thrown out if someone hadn’t been standing there to pick it up. And the realization (which we continually have, in actuality) of stores, restaurants and bakeries all around the country, throwing out food every single day, just absolutely almost broke me at that moment. So many could be fed by so little.
The second thought that flooded my mind, was how very, very carefully this young man was packing everything up for me. You see, oftentimes, the people who pack up the food at closing time, just throw everything in a plastic bag, and whether it has cherries or icing or filling or whatever inside or outside, it all gets dumped into a big mishmash. It gets kinda gross, and sometimes we feel bad about taking it down like that. We are still really thankful, and we know that the sweets get doled out even in pieces. But somehow, the care this young man was taking (he was probably 18 or 19) just created a picture of how much the Lord loves us, and how lovingly careful He is about taking care of our lives & our needs.
I asked the young man how many times he had made those boxes, and he said, ‘actually, that was my first one, you can probably tell that’. I told him that I couldn’t (having never put a pastry box together, I thought he was doing great). I noticed his name tag, and the name on it, Awes Truk.
At first I thought maybe it was a Filipino name or something. When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Awestruck’, and I realized this was something he came up with, himself. But the thing that stuck out to me, was the ‘T’ in AwesTruk… He had made it huge, and it looked like a cross… And when I asked him about that, he proudly told me that, yes, it was a cross. His smile was so huge when he realized that someone had taken note of that.
Well, “AwesTruk” doesnt’ know it, but the Lord really ministered to me thru his care and humble heart. And he doesn’t know that the food he so carefully passed on to me will go on to feed multitudes of hungry folks in Mexico. And he also doesn’t know that just today, I read in John, about the miracle of the fish and the loaves, and how Jesus multipled just a little, so that thousands could be fed, not so that their bellies would be full, but so that He could tell them that HE was THE BREAD of Life!!!!
And so, after packing up my car with all of that, and driving away, I went ahead and cried… I just thanked the Lord for showing me how important something so simple is (picking up bread), and how much more could be done, and for touching my heart so profoundly. Tonight, I was the one who was truly AWESTRUCK…..
p.s. come on out and be a part of what we do, and you can be ‘AWESTRUCK’ too!!!!!