By Merrily Brast, Staff Writer
Inspiring Faith I Aspire to Have
I approached the UGM Annual City-Wide Thanksgiving Dinner this past Wednesday, not entirely sure what to expect.I expected there to be hundreds of people. I knew the food would be delicious. I realized the Spokane Convention Center would be decorated. And I figured I would have an entirely new experience being a first-time goer.
What I didn’t realize is that there would be around 1,000 people, and nearly 1,100 meals served. I didn’t expect the decorations—placemats, centerpieces, linen—to be so beautiful. I didn’t know many of the people served likely wouldn’t have had a Thanksgiving meal without the event.
And I didn’t realize they would be some of the most grateful people I’ve spent time around.
A Child-like Faith
It’s a rare occasion for me to be unsure what to expect. I find it easy for my mind to take up an idea and run wild with it. But a couple months ago, I began helping in a church nursery during Women’s Bible Study.
Being the youngest in my family, I haven’t had much experience watching young kids. I was unsure what exactly I was getting myself into. I was even a bit intimidated.
When I first arrived to help, there were six children between the ages of 2-5, and what I couldn’t have guessed would happen, did happen…I loved it.
Young kids are incredible. They require so much time and energy, but what they give back is irresistible.
They want to love and be loved. They have a strong sense of justice and are genuine and trusting in the most appealing and lovely way. Some are outgoing, and others are shy. But mainly, they are like me…human.
One of my favorite images of Jesus is His open arms to children. He loves them. In fact, He wants each of us to be like them.
He says, “Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15).
The kingdom of God belongs to those like the men and women I talked to on Wednesday.
As I spoke with the guests at the Thanksgiving Dinner, I realized that they want love, and they love easily. They have a strong sense of justice, not wanting to be taken advantage of, and they’re authentic in a refreshing and charming way.
But primarily, their belief and faith in God is child-like.
I want to be more like them. I think God desires me to be more like them.
A Tough Question
On Wednesday, when asked what their favorite thing about life is, there were a number of answers, but two stood out from among them. “God” and “people who love you.”
Jesus says that there is no greater command than loving God and loving others. A command that many of those at the Thanksgiving Dinner already grasp.
They are inspiring.
So, I went into the Thanksgiving Dinner unsure what to expect, but here is what I took away from it.
I want to be grateful and express my gratitude like those I spoke with on Wednesday. I pray my faith and trust in God are child-like and unpretentious. And I hope that if anyone ever asks me my favorite thing about life, my honest answer is God, loving people, and people who love me.
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