There are few things of this world that I love more than a meal with beloved friends. The food can be spectacular or simple and still be delicious because it is shared well.
Luke’s Gospel permeated the 2012 Urbana Conference. Time and again we were invited to the table of God’s feast — a table where the food and love are beyond our imagining. Over 800 individuals accepted the invitation to come home to the table that is a relationship with God through Jesus when they either accepted His gift of Salvation or returned to receive His grace and love after a time of wandering. Delicious, indeed, to watch the embrace of the Father reconcile these brothers and sisters to their place at the family table.
Another life-altering invitation came from Shortie Khumalo — a CareGiver in her home community in Swaziland where she walks many miles to spend time caring for and loving people who desperately need a kind touch that heals and restores. On the third night of Urbana Shortie invited all of us present to participate in packing 32,000 CareGiver kits that will be used by people providing compassionate care to AIDS victims in a part of the world that has been ravaged by the disease.
Christian Press shared this article about Shortie and this part of URBANA which includes the video shared in St Louis (I’m serious — watch it) and excerpts from interviews done with InterVarsity and World Vision staff involved in the planning of this important evening.
I was most impressed that it did not make me feel like I’d done something great so much. Rather, the whole way it was handled made me feel that we — together — had accomplished something at the invitation of others who are doing great things. And even that isn’t quite it. I appreciated the fact that is did more to whet my appetite to serve compassionately and graciously than it did to quench my hunger to do good.