Monday, March 17, 2014


The third Saturday of every month I volunteer at the local food pantry - Ruby's Pantry. I have a great time there and have come to love many of the "clients" and volunteers alike. Hugs are always given away freely at Ruby's, just like the food. The love of Christ flows trough that place like a hydroelectric plant - generating incredible power that warms us all. Ruby's Pantry is a very special place.

There are other food panties around our area but we are told by those who come through the line that Ruby's is the best. When we ask why we are always told, "It's because we feel like you actually care about us." Hmm. I wonder where they got THAT idea.

This past Saturday morning was a little warmer than it's been in a while. It was nearly 30 degrees when I arrived on the scene at 7:00AM. Many had been waiting, standing outside, for several hours by the time I got there.

I pre-register people so I am walking around outside quite a bit. I am the first one from Ruby's that people meet so I always like to greet everyone with a smile, and a hug if needed. I think it's good that I am standing out there with them as they wait. Oh, and I always give out a piece of candy to everyone. I think they like me but I am insecure enough to think that it's probably the candy.

This morning, after most of the line had gone inside, a white sedan pulled up. A mom and two kids got out. It was their first time at Ruby's so I handed the mom a registration form to fill out. That's when I turned to the kids. I gave then each some candy and asked the young boy how come he wasn't wearing a coat. "He doesn't like coats," the mom said. That's cool. He had a nice Milwaukee Brewers tee shirt on in the freezing temperature.

After the family got inside I spoke to them a little more, trying to learn a little bit about their family. The mom was pretty thin and looked kind of weary. Probably just woke up I guessed. She's a mom. She has the right to look tired.

Her daughter was a cool kid. I mean, obviously! She had a Waupaca Comets sweatshirt on! She was early high school-ish and was being nice by laughing at this old man's jokes. The mom's son, the one with no coat, was having a tough time, clearly wanting to be somewhere else. Someplace WARM perhaps? Maybe, but it was more than that though. Something was upsetting him.

Later, when I was helping out inside, I saw this same family come through the line. The mom was looking even more weary, having a tough time getting her son to patiently get through the morning. So I asked her if there was anything I could pray.

"You can pray for my son. He's a special needs kid, very much in need." I promised I would pray for them and, as they continued through the line, I did just that.

Special needs kids are just that . . . special. And so are their moms . . . and their teachers.

After I got home I continued to think about that mom and her kid. What a special mom it takes to raise a special needs kid! But she can't do it on her own. There are special needs teachers who have a gift for reaching out to these special people in an especially caring and loving way. Hmm. Special needs. Special needs. You know, we ALL have special needs.

There are basic needs in life like oxygen and water and food. We are ALL in need of those things in order to survive. And all of those things are given away at Ruby's Pantry each month - at least the food and the water. The air has already been provided by God. Actually, I would submit that the other items have been provided by God as well. All of what is given away each month at Ruby's is provided through the donations by caring people and companies . . . and one very caring God. Think about that for a moment. ALL of our NEEDS are provided by God.

"26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" - Matthew 6:26

Can you think of anything else we actually need to survive? I can't. Gravity maybe? Well, actually, there is one more thing we all need . . .

His name is Jesus. Jesus is our VERY "special" need. He is our need beyond food and water and the air that we breathe. If we didn't have any of those things - air, water and food - we would die. And if we died, what would we need then? Jesus.

We all have needs in this life but when you get right down to it, Jesus is the only "need" we really need. Let us give Him thanks and praise for all He has provided for us in this life. We all have been truly blessed by a God who provides for our every need.

[This post is dedicated to all of the special needs teachers out there (especially to to Katie and to Devyn and to anyone else who I have forgotten). And to my nephew Aaron for works for Special Olympics - Michigan. God has gifted you with some very special talents to teach and to build into the lives of some very special people. May God bless you in your ministry.]

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19

Autistic Basketball Player

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