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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mustard Seeds are Very Small

Mustard Seeds are Very Small

Jesus said: "For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it will move;  and nothing will be impossible to you."
(Matthew, 17:20)

            This is a familiar parable told by Jesus and present in the texts of more than one Gospel writer.  While it teaches a very basic lesson regarding our faith, it also has very practical applications in our lives.  If a small amount of faith can, in fact, "move mountains," then what we, as individuals, do, can make a great difference in the lives of many people.

            The generosity of people in our community is wonderful to behold.  While Clare House's annual food drive results in thousands of donated food items, we are continually blessed by individuals and families and churches and organizations who, throughout the course of each year, continue to bring food to us so that we can meet the weekly needs of many who come to our door.

            Do you know what goes into each bag of food at Clare House to be given to our sisters and brothers in need?  4 cans of vegetables, 4 cans of protein (such as beans, meat, tuna, spaghetti), 2 cans of soup, 2 cans of fruit, 2 or 3 other items such as pasta, cereal, cake or pancake mix, and whatever toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toilet paper) we have in stock.  As we place each can or item in a bag, it seems like such a small thing to help people deal with daily hunger and personal needs.  But, when each bag is full and heavy to lift, we realize that "small things, taken together, can make a difference" in people's lives. 

            Typically, each week we distribute 150-200 bags of food to our brothers and sisters; sometimes more.  Multiply that by 10-12 cans and items per bag and the number can be overwhelming--1500-2500 cans and items of food each week.  Multiply that by 52 weeks--well, you can see how each donation of even 1 can or item of food is necessary to meet the needs of folks in Bloomington-Normal.  Together, we, as individual "mustard seeds" can move a mountain and make a huge difference in people's lives.
            Today, with over 300 million people in the United States and over 7 billion people in the world, many of whom are living in abject poverty and hunger, it's easy to feel that we, as individuals, are unable to do much to help others; that one person can't make a difference.  But, that's not true, because together, our seemingly small efforts do add up to make a significant difference.  That's what happens at Clare House and why we feel so blessed to be in a community that cares for those who are less fortunate.

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