Bologna and Cheese and the Gospel
Blog post written by Chris Cain from Prosper, Texas
Dios le bendiga
It’s not the stomach groans. It can’t be. Or protruding bone borrowing skin until the time when muscle and fat might once again comfort its span. It’s not that either. Nor is it their eyes, half sunk and beady, glazed with misery while remaining keen. No. It’s not their eyes. Maybe it’s their clothes, tattered and torn like any cheap thread count would surely be after long nights on short concrete steps. But I don’t think that’s it.
What is it plucking the strings of my heart to the tune of Sorrow and Pity while chords of hope and joy round out the arrangement? Such a strange feeling . . .
From my hand I extend a good bologna and cheese sandwich and from my soul I am extending something much greater.
And I’ve concluded that while the rest of the world could easily hand out a sandwich to someone in need, they can’t do it like I can—like a Christian does it. Tonight, I realized as some 20ish sandwiches departed my hands for theirs, a measure of grace is given that they could not taste apart from hands of God’s redeemed.
There’s something spiritual about a bologna and cheese sandwich, after all. At least for the Christian there is. While we certainly aren’t distributing some Ziploc variety of salvation with a light mayonnaise spread, we are (when we serve and when we give) providing a bite sized glimpse into God’s Kingdom—a place where all belong and everyone receives only because of the Giver and never due to any merit of those who hunger to partake.
Is this not a portion of the ministry of Christ, Himself—to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to miraculously feed thousands? And to what end? The healed would likely be sick again, the raised would most certainly die once more, the fed would soon enough be hungry.
Jesus was no short-sighted humanitarian. He was (and is) an eternal King ushering in his Kingdom where in the fullness of his rule there is no sickness, there is no death and those who have partaken of his divine nature will never hunger or thirst again.
And so we feed the hungry, we care for the homeless, we bestow bologna and we confer cheese in the name and example of Jesus knowing that as they satisfy their stomachs there’s a god, our God, who longs to satisfy their souls.
No it’s not the stomach groans. It never was. It was their hearts all along, projecting pitch like a dog whistle—silent to those who cannot hear but piercing to any half-hearing hound on the backside of the globe.
Like that hound, surely the Spirit of God hears their cries and responds, providing the salvation we cannot.
Yes, God saves and we give sandwiches and a blessing of hope.
Dios le bendiga.