Sandwiches and Salvation
May 17, 2017
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” -Luke 6:24
As a child, I had a toy keyring with pictures framed in plastic primary colors. On this ring, I had a picture of my great-grandmother (my grandpa’s mother) and my infant self sitting in her lap. She passed away not long after the day this picture was taken, and because I was so young, I have no memories of her. I have only this photo and a defining story that my grandpa told me.
One day, as we sat together in my grandpa’s living room after a lunch of fish sandwiches (he eats fish every Friday) and vegetable soup, he told me about his childhood and growing up during the Great Depression. He was just a boy of 5 or 6 at the time. His family lived at the end of a road, not far from where he raised five kids and continues to reside today.
Sitting in his favorite recliner, he told me about how he remembers hungry, jobless men walking down his street with all their possessions in a small bag on their back. They would knock on the back door, asking for something to eat. My great-grandmother would set up a card table and chair in the yard, under the cherry tree, and serve them a bologna sandwich and a glass of water. They would eat, thank her, and continue on their way searching for any paying work. My grandpa didn’t realize it until years later, but the curb in front of their house had been marked—a sign to others that they could find a meal at this house.
This story is so dear to me, because it tells me so much about a woman that I never had the opportunity to get to know. My great-grandmother was not rich. It was the Great Depression, after all. But she was rich in kindness. She was rich in generosity. And she was rich in the love of Christ.
Her true wealth was her generosity and love. She gave what she could. And her generosity and love marked her in the eyes of others and in the eyes of God.
How can we give from what we have? Do our daily acts mark us in generosity and love in the eyes of God?
Alyssa Finke spends her time writing, hiking, and cooking. She also really enjoys a nice adventure, and will cross oceans or city limit signs to have one. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Alyssa is the Marketing Coordinator for Forward Movement. Currently raising a tomato plant, a cactus, and several geraniums, her green-thumb aspirations are a work in progress.
Thank you for this story. Not only did your great-grandmother feed these men, but she treated them with respect, by setting up a table for them, rather than simply handing them the sandwich. It is this respect, along with her kindness and compassion, that will stay with me today as I think of her and her example of the love of Christ.
I’m so happy to read this. And happy that my church carries on that tradition. We make sandwich bagged lunches during coffee hour after church on Sunday. Everyone pitches in. These are later distributed to the hungry in our area. A simple ministry that concretely carries out Jesus’s commandment.
We also participate in LaundryLove, once a month providing money and hands on assistance at a local laundromat so that the homeless can have the simple dignity of clean clothing, with a little human fellowship thrown in for good measure. No preaching, just love and laundry.