The other week, a few friends and I brought sandwiches to the homeless tent community downtown St. Louis. It was a really great service experience, and it opened my eyes to see how these people live day after day. Through service, I have learned so much about myself. My heart is to serve others. I want to be available to be used by God, I want to continue knowing God more and more through service, and I want to glorify God in everything I do.
It was amazing to see how appreciative these people were that we brought them sandwiches. It was a simple act of service that did not cost a lot of money, and did not take very much effort, but it meant so much more to them. We sat under the tent by the fire and had lunch together with these people. One kid, named Patrick, actually grew up in Greenville, and moved to St. Louis when he became homeless. I told him I would being him back a Greenville lanyard, and that simple act meant so much to him.
This makes me long for simplicity. I want to be able to appreciate the little things in life. One of my biggest fears is that I will get so caught up with myself that I miss God in the smallest places. God’s voice is not heard in the wind or storms, but in a whisper. I want to live a life of service and simplicity and disciplined silence so that I will be able to hear God and I won’t have to concentrate so hard on having to listen for His voice.
One thing that struck me the most when we brought the sandwiches to the homeless was how giving they were in return. In one of their tents they had some food stocked up that they had received. There were two unopened packages of banana bread, and one of the guys told us to take it home with us as their gift of appreciation. It was really hard for us to take the bread from them because I am sure it is a lot harder for them to attain bread than it is for us, but it would be rude to not accept the gift either. In a way I feel like the homeless served us more than we served them. Even though we brought them sandwiches that they could not afford, they still gave us banana bread. That is true service, and that is what I long for.