God Is Never Late

It was Tuesday afternoon. As usual, I finished my office work and headed to the church to help with the soup kitchen, serving dinner to the homeless. Our menu was simple: spaghetti, salad, and noodle soup. Before I began serving, Fran, the kitchen manager, whispered in my ear, “Please don’t give them too much. This is the only food we have today.”

Fran looked serious. She has the kind heart that Christians often speak of, always ensuring plenty of food on each diner’s plate and never turning anyone away. Her unusual caution made me a little nervous about some situation I wasn’t aware of.

After washing all the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen, Fran and I had a few minutes to relax and chat. Our conversation started with what I had been busy with lately — writing grant proposals for my workplace. The word “grant” became a key topic for the rest of our chat.

Recently, the kitchen has only been able to provide limited food because the budget is less than one dollar per person. We serve homemade hot meals for the homeless from Monday to Friday. Fran looked worried and sad. I didn’t know how to help except to say, “We will try to apply for some grants when I have some free time.” I left the church, carrying Fran’s concern with me.

I walked out of the church and crossed the empty street, still thinking about grants. Suddenly, a lone figure approached me. “Are you from this church?” a young man asked, his mild accent suggesting he might be from Central or South America.

“Yes,” I replied.

“I want to write a check to this church,” he said with a big smile on his face.

I was stunned. “You must be sent by God,” I mumbled after a few seconds of silence.

He explained that he used to park his white van near our church. Often, he would look at our church building and say to himself, “One day, I will write a check to this church.”

I took him to see Fran; I don’t know what happened next.

There are still white vans lining the street in front of our church. Most of them belong to small business owners in construction, building cleaning, and catering. Most owners are Hispanics who moved to this area, working hard to realize the American dream.

Many of the diners our church soup kitchen serves are Hispanics from Central and South America. Some of them pick up odd jobs in construction and cleaning businesses. When they arrive for dinner, they often have paint on their work clothes. As they use hand sanitizer, I notice the wrinkles and dark spots on their hands that cannot even be washed off. Life is hard for them, but they always seem easy and relaxed sitting in the church’s dining hall.

How could God not take care of them? His mercy and grace are immense.

God is never late!

“His eye is on the sparrow…”

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