In the early 1990’s my friend DB was with me as I got our mail from our box. In it was a check from someone as a gift for $200. I shouted “Thank You, Lord!” Money was tight for our family of four. Our income was around $1000 a month. If we ate out at all we all had to split a Happy Meal.
I forgot exactly what I said after that but it was concerning something we could spend it on.
DB burst my bubble though and said, “Why do you think this is for you?”
“Because it has my name on it and the Lord knows we could use the money.”
“But what if God sent it to you because you know someone that might need it more? Why don’t you hang on to it for awhile and see?”
We always had a need but I told him I would give God two weeks for someone to cross our path that was more desperate than us. Well, sure enough we ended up just being a conduit and the money was passed on to someone else.
We were just a conduit.
At Serenity we provide meals and devotions on Wednesdays and Fridays. This past Wednesday Cathy came with four boxes of groceries someone gave her for us. We do provide groceries but it is street friendly food: Pasta and meat in pop top cans, Ramen noodles, tuna fish packets, fruit cups and the like. There are other food pantry’s in town where people that have stoves can go and get groceries. Usually we refer these types of donations to those pantries.
However, I had just got off the phone with one of our friends that had run out of food and they had not eaten for a couple of days. Their car was not available to bring them to town plus they had no money. “Is there anything you can do to help?” The woman sobbed.
As a small ministry with a small budget I said,”We will do something. I’ll call you back.”
I was making plans on going to the store and buying groceries. I’m not much of a shopper so it would be a challenge for me.
Then Cathy shows up loaded down with food that God had prepared ahead time for the couple that contacted us. Someone gave to us so we could give someone.
Again, just a conduit.
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church provided The Friday night meal two days later. Several of us were sitting around visiting and Father David asked if we could use another refrigerator. I said maybe one day but we already had one in our cramped 450 square foot room. I thanked him for the offer.
Less than ten minutes later one of our dear sisters from the street came in to get a plate and a hug. As she hugged me she said “We finally got a place to live but we need a refrigerator.”
Father David was sitting to my left and I turned and looked at him. I didn’t know what to say but I know he heard her and he looked at me and gave a slight nod.
I invited our sister outside and told her someone had just offered us a refrigerator and they would like for her to have it. She embraced with a hug like she was my daughter, burying her face into my chest and with tears started thanking me. I told her it was all God using Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.
Again, just a conduit.
But isn’t this the way The Kingdom should work. Our Father sees ahead of time. The end of the Book of Ezekiel says: “From now on the name of the city will be Yahweh–Shammah: “God–Is–There.” (Ezekiel 48:35 | MSG)
I have heard that a better expression might be God-Is-Here and at the same time He-Is-Already-There. He’s both places at once. Seeing and Providing at the same time. We become nothing more than the pipe line of Blessing. We do nothing but become a part of His Purpose. What the thirsty need is water. Our Father supplies the water. We are just conduits and don’t even know it most times.
When He provides for each of us, maybe we should hold these things loosely in anticipation they were never meant for us. They are meant to be passed on.
We are just conduits.