Hope and Trust
June 17, 2014
By: Carol H., Mercy Associate
Carol is a regular volunteer for MUST Ministries, which serves families and individuals in eight counties of the northern metropolitan arc of Atlanta, Georgia. She founded MUST Ministries Summer Lunch Program to ensure children who rely on free school lunches would not go hungry during the summer vacation. This year the program aims to distribute 250,000 sack lunches, feeding 6,000 children each day.
Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled. When a child waits in hope, it involves nurturing the moment. Ida waited every day for the small, green tomato to grow and redden. Her family had but one tomato plant to last the summer months. Ida come eagerly every day to meet our MUST Ministries van that brought lunches to children in the trailer parks. Because she was the oldest child, she took care to count the brown sacks, making sure the small children had theirs first. One morning, as the van pulled up the long hill, we saw Ida waiting by the side of the road. Her two small hands held an object as delicately as we would hold a Communion wafer. With care, she approached us, opening her hands to display a small, red tomato. Her excited voice offered the story of the gift: “For so long, I have waited for it to grow; it is our first on the plant, and we want you to have it to say thank you for our lunches.”
The smile and joy on her face revealed gratitude—a response to grace, an action taken as part of the discipline of patience. When gratitude is the source of our actions, our giving becomes receiving. Ida had given the first fruits. I was confronted by the beauty of this small child as she had nurtured the moment, her gift of hope, and I remembered these words: “When beauty overwhelms us, we are close to worship” (Richard C. Cabot).