photo by Charles Edward Case

Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
—-The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On one of the ordinary days in between Thanksgiving and Christmas last month, I entered our soup kitchen and was greeted by boxes. A lot of them. There were probably 15 large cardboard containers that had been shipped to us from an unknown source. And around the boxes stood a group of HASK staff, one of whom eventually opened the closest one. Inside were lots and lots of white, lunch sized bags. Each was beautifully decorated with a child’s drawing; brightly colored, some with messages as well. And in each bag were non-perishable snack and beverage items.

Clearly a school had decided to do a service project, and we at Holy Apostles were the blessed recipients of their labors. We used that generous gift as the foundation for our bag lunches that day, sending food and good wishes out to all the local organizations we support. It was incredible to think about the journey from blank paper and magic markers into a classroom, partnered with a child’s imagination, sent through the mail, into our church, handled by our volunteers, delivered to people in need—producing smiles and happiness at each stop along the way.

This weekend we remember the powerful legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And as we honor all that Dr. King embodied and shared, all the ways in which he demanded the best from this nation and the ways in which he inspires us still, may we also remember his insistence that it all begins with hearts converted to serving others. May God grant us such hearts, such souls generated by love.