We've organzied events. We've hosted parties. There wasn't a mom present that didn't have experience adjusting resources for unexpected guests. We all felt frustrated that we didn't have a present count on our supplies. Continually we were asked how many? How many children could we host for this little VBS?
I think we all felt confused.
What do you mean 'how many'?
We will host all who come.
She had to look us in the eyes and explain, not once but several times over the course of the week, explain that no matter how much we had there wouldn't be enough. I shook my head in disbelief. I've never, ever not had enough. I've never cleaned up from a party and not had to pull out the ever ready and waiting tupperware to fill the frig with leftovers. I've never had to turn a guest away because of limited supplies.
She asked the 'how many' question again and again over the course of the week. The VBS we were hosting, being one of the last activities on our little missionary venture, kept getting pushed aside for more immediate activities. But the night before we realized we had to pull it all together and that meant getting a count of supplies. We had enough for 50. That's a lot and I believed we should be able to cover most who arrived.
She sat down and making purposeful eye contact to explain, once again, that there would be many children from the village they would bar from our VBS. "No matter how many supplies you bring, more will show. There is no way you could have brought enough for all to participate".
It really sank in the next morning.
We were ushered into the little church. We worshiped there Sunday morning. A cheery little place in the midst of poverty, exactly what a church should be. The windows and doors covered in wrought iron bars, I saw them as decoration even though I knew they served a good purpose, they kept out maurauders. This day they would prohibit entrance to numbers 51 and up.
As soon as we arrived children emerged. They swarmed the stairs of the church. We prepared and practiced as we waited for the church pastor. He would decide who gained entrance to this event. He granted golden tickets to the 50. He knows the people of this village and he lovingly makes these decisions. My heart relieved that the decision wasn't on my shoulders.
The event proved successful. The 50 watched our children sing, heard the salvation story and made salvation bracelets. They fought to sit near us, stroke our hair and have their picture taken. But, standing at the door, pressing in close to hear the stories and songs, barred numbers 51 and up. Their hands gripped tight the iron bars struggling to maintain their place. They stood on tiptoes to peek in the windows.
A painful and heart wrenching way to grasp more fully the beauty of God's salvation plan. No one is barred. There are no golden tickets for a select few. How loving my Creator. His heart broke with mine as his precious 51 and up stood on the outside, no entrance, no partaking of the fun brought by those desiring to be his hands and feet. I am humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude for such a loving God. He sent his child, his son and he swung that door wide so all my enter.