Table of Grace in the Season of COVID
posted on July 27
By Rev. Kari Howard
This season of life and ministry has helped me to see Elijah’s story in a whole new light. He was called to stand up to difficult challenges and act on God’s word. He had to speak up for God when there was evil all around. And he had to lift up those who were oppressed and lacking resources. So when the famine came, he found God providing in new and creative ways. When he had to leave home, his source of food and water was a brook and whatever food the ravens supplied for him. When the brook dried, he was led to become friends with a stranger, who was not on his usual ministry route (1 Kings 17).
That’s what it has been like at Table of Grace at West Bend Asheboro since Coronavirus hit. We have seen God provide for us in new ways and we are reaching out to more people than ever before with the ministry of Table of Grace.
At first, we just moved the food outdoors for people to pick up and then take it with them. But we quickly realized that most of the people we had been serving, really were not able to come to us under the advisement to stay home and lay low. We also had to make sure our staff was healthy and safe. So, we stopped for two weeks to regroup hoping that we would be able to open back up and get back to normal.
But hunger doesn’t stop, just because people are in quarantine. And it became quite clear that getting back to normal wasn’t going to be. And you know what? God didn’t stop providing for us just because we had to change our method. When some funding came in for Table of Grace from unexpected sources we knew God was sending a message to get back to work. God was feeding us so we needed to go out and get back to feeding others. It has been amazing to watch what God will do in the lives of willing people. Our cooks came back together willingly and safely in order to prepare the food. Many people who had been out of work or experienced scheduling changes volunteered to deliver meals. Some volunteered to make calls and schedule deliveries. We reconnected with many of those who had been coming before and found more in need of a meal.
We’re seeing God provide and we’re moving further out into the community with the Good Food and Good News on Tuesdays. I don’t know how that would compare to what the ravens fed Elijah, but I know that the same Supplier has supplied for us all along. I know it looked bleak when Elijah met with the widow of Zarephath, but again, when God gives the word and makes the appointment, it’s best just to follow the plan God gives. So for now we are a delivery service. Table of Grace has always and will always be about Good Food and Good News. Just maybe offered in a new way. Grace by Delivery kind of has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?