The Church That Serves The Free Lunches

“Sir, do you know where the church is that serves the free lunches?” the father asked me holding his son’s hand. I couldn’t help but notice the shabby and tattered clothes of the father, the old dirty toy dangling from his son’s hand, but what really got to me was the father’s eyes in which I sensed intense desperation and confusion. “I… I’m not actually from the area..” I attempted to explain I don’t really know East Harlem that well and I really don’t know where this church is that he’s looking for. With a look of sadness and hopelessness the father uttered “Ok, thank you sir” and began to walk away with his son looking back… I stopped for a moment while watching them cross the road that cold winter’s morning. The church that serves the free lunches… what a way to be remembered! I thought. Where is this church anyway? I then recalled the words of scripture “Behold the kingdom of God is within you”. Is “the church” in the bricks and mortar? In the flower arrangements? How about the musical instruments? “Hey!” I shouted as I gathered my thoughts and motioned for the father’s son to come back. They stopped and the boy looked up to his father for permission and then ran across the road. I hunched down, squeezed a $20 bill into his little hand and then captured the gratitude in his eyes which silently said “I’m glad we found the church that serves the free lunches”.

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