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Satisfy My Soul

But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. (Acts 5:39)

After our Feed the Hunger event, I sat in my room and I thanked God.

In the Book of Acts we read about all these efforts to kill the Christians off. In Chapter 5, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who the Bible tells us was an honored teacher, advised the Sanhedrin not to kill the Apostles. He said, “Hey, if this is not of God it’s going to go away. Things not of God will leave. They perish. They don’t work. But if it is of God, then you cannot stop it. You can do whatever you want, but you will not stop it.”

I think that’s what our young people are saying too. I think it’s what they said by working so hard to package meals for hours on a Saturday afternoon. They are saying, “We love our neighbors like Jesus did, and you’re not going to stop us.” And there’s no reason they should be stopped. What they are doing is a fulfillment of true love. It’s unconditional.

Those kids did not know one person that was getting fed. I mean, you don’t know who these people are! And yet they loved them enough to put their meal kits together. That’s unconditional love. And when you love someone just to love them, there’s no greater love than that. That’s the love of Jesus. That’s why it’s so important.

Some kids told me, “If we could do this for a living, we would.” It took my breath away! That is just an amazing, amazing deal.

We want to take these kids to the next level. We’re not trying to get them to commit to doing this for a living. Our message is, “Do what you’re gifted to do for a living, so that you can do these things as well.” To put it another way, we want to encourage these kids to become successful by using their God-given gifts. That way, they can use that success to serve the least among us. We tell them, “Become successful so you can continue to help build orphanages. Become successful so you can help dig water wells. Become successful so you can help rescue kids from trafficking. Become successful so you can sponsor these meals to help people who are hurting.”

And I guarantee they lay in bed that night and said, “I feel good about myself.” I guarantee you some kids who came that day said, “For the first time in my life, I feel good about myself and what I did. I can sleep soundly tonight and know that I didn’t cause any pain and frustration. I didn’t mess up.” I’m sure some of those kids get told all the time how much they mess up. Well that day, they didn’t mess up. That day, they were fulfilling the dreams of other people. That day, they thought about people who feel like they mess up, and took care of them.

These kids have figured it out. Whether they believe in Jesus or not, they’ve figured it out. Their souls are satisfied.

4 thoughts on “Satisfy My Soul

  1. I love this post *so much.* At first, I had trouble understanding it. I just didn’t think it was all that amazing that young people want to feed the hungry for a living. I didn’t think it was amazing because it’s so common! Young people are always the ones with the energy and skills to work sacrificially, on behalf of their neighbors! That’s the business of the young. Look at what’s happening in North Africa and the Persian Gulf, and even in the Middle East. It’s the young people who know perfectly well that sacrificing for their neighbor, even dying for their neighbor, is the most fulfilling call they will ever receive. And they have embraced that call with everything they have — including their blood and their lives.

    But then I got this note from a student (I teach religion and philosophy at the community college, and we work on human trafficking projects throughout the semester). She wrote, in part:

    “It is really fun and exciting for me to be in a class that is encouraging us to apply religion to life. The world is SO broken and bleeding (I have seen this over and over in Africa and even here) but we should not be overwhelmed by this but rather act to overwhelm it with good…It is cool to see how everyone is responding and growing in how they are informed and challenged to take action.”

    Now, this letter did not make me feel proud of myself, although I’m sure I’d be justified. But that wasn’t my reaction at all. I read it and I was proud of *her*! And I was proud of all my students, because as she said, it’s *so cool* to see them respond and grow and accept the challenge! As you wrote, it took my breath away! It is just an amazing, amazing deal!

    So really, you rock, Jeremy. Always shedding dazzling new light on the stuff that already bedazzles me. Sorry I can’t challenge you today, but it wouldn’t be appropriate! I see my students and your young adults satisfying their souls, and it reminds me of that lovely woman who walked to work every day during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, memorialized by Howell Raines. She said, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.” Whoo! Tears in my eyes!

  2. Hey Jeremy,

    I especially love your last two paragraphs.

    “And I guarantee they lay in bed that night and said, “I feel good about myself.” I guarantee you some kids who came that day said, “For the first time in my life, I feel good about myself and what I did. I can sleep soundly tonight and know that I didn’t cause any pain and frustration. I didn’t mess up.” I’m sure some of those kids get told all the time how much they mess up. Well that day, they didn’t mess up. That day, they were fulfilling the dreams of other people. That day, they thought about people who feel like they mess up, and took care of them.

    These kids have figured it out. Whether they believe in Jesus or not, they’ve figured it out. Their souls are satisfied. ”

    When people cooperate with God’s Mission they feel fully alive, they feel human. This is GOSPEL.

  3. I feel the same way after volunteering to feed the hungry and less fortunate at Glide Memorial in SF….If I could go that for a living, I would. And I have seen people instantaneously change their attitudes after a shift.

    Knowing that I have touched someone’s life, treated them with respect, and fed them a hot meal completely changes me each and every time. I have known people who have lived on the streets and I am grateful everyday they no longer do; and I am grateful I am able to touch someone else’s lives and keep those still on the streets in my daily prayers.

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