Way back in the 1800’s the city was home to not one, but two Electric Car manufacturing plants. Go figure. It is currently home to The Hope Center which is the launching pad for the New York City Relief buses providing bread and soup in the name of Jesus to places in the city few dare to travel.
Saturday, I was offered a rare opportunity to work a little OT. Living in North Jersey, I could surely use the cash. I was also offered the opportunity to feed the homeless in the South Bronx with New York City Relief. Feed the poor, or make some cash? There really wasn’t a choice. My colleagues at work thought I was nuts.
The weather was brutal, wet and windy. Driving down the NJ Turnpike to the Hope Center, I thought of Micah 6:8 and then tried to find an "out clause" for wind and rain – to no avail.
I felt pretty darn sure no one would stand in a nor’easter for a cup of soup. Stupid me.
Standing in the windblown rain outside that soup truck on a vacant lot on 148th Street, I witnessed it. People came, lots of them, individuals at first, then whole families and extended families. They came for a slice of bread, a cup of soup and a little bit of Jesus. For a fleeting moment, I couldn’t comprehend that this slice of NYC is America for many, many people.
During the course of the day I was speaking with an ex-gang leader recently released from jail. He explained how he once ruled this part of the South Bronx dictating who got mugged, robbed or knifed. He told me his buddies call him Lucifer, the Devil, Satan and Evil and that those names now brought him down.
I'll tell you what it means to worship the Lord. Remove the chains of the prisoners who are chained unjustly. Free those who are abused! Share your food with everyone who is hungry; share your home with the poor and homeless. Give clothes to those in need; don't turn away your relatives. Isaiah 58