The Parable of the Sandwiches

Posted: July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
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One beautiful summer morning a young man awoke early excited to spend some time alone with God. Their time together was out of the ordinary, truly a quiet time not filled with a list of requests but with a heartfelt desire to hear from and join with each other. The young man wanted nothing more than to take his lead from The Lord. God impressed on Him to go into the kitchen and make some sandwiches to take around to homeless folks selling newspapers on street corners around town. He took ten sandwiches and nervously headed out for the day’s adventure.

The young man drove to a busy intersection not far from his house, parked the car nearby and asked God to do something incredible. He got out of the car with a small cooler containing ten sandwiches and ten bottles of water then walked over to an older man with a stack of papers under his arm. The young man introduced himself, offered a sandwich and told the man what brought him there today. The man was fascinated and the two of them exchanged stories for more than twenty minutes. At the end of the conversation the man said he’d asked God just this morning to unquestionably reveal Himself.

Across the intersection was a middle aged woman also selling papers so the young man took her a sandwich and water too. He was still uneasy but very encouraged by the time he’d had with the first man. He once again asked God to stay close and do something amazing. The young man’s time with the woman though different was just as special as the time he’d spent with the older man.

This went on for the rest of the day. The young man had eight more encounters each unique and extraordinary. He was just as moved and heartened through each of the conversations as they had been. Because he was out of his comfort zone, the young man had relied on God for everything that day and upon reflection marveled, eleven lives were touched by a loving, living God and there could be no question that he’d heard from Him.

The next morning was beautiful again; the young man woke up early and went straight to the kitchen to make twenty five sandwiches. He then grabbed a bigger cooler from the garage, put some water and the sandwiches in it and returned to the corner where he’d started yesterday. The folks there were happy to see him; they exchanged hugs, got their sandwiches and briefly reminisced about the day before. He revisited everyone from the previous day and found fifteen additional folks to hand out water and sandwiches to, all were very appreciative.

That night at a gathering of friends the young man told the story from the first day. His friends were touched and had some great ideas about how to do it better. One friend knew someone with a bakery that might be willing to donate bread. And another friend offered to come by in the morning to help make more sandwiches. Each day for the next two weeks the number of sandwiches the young man and his friends made increased. Word spread about the sandwiches, the homeless people and the ministry that took place that first day. Before long they were making over a thousand sandwiches a day, two vans had been donated and when the young man was invited to tell his story people began to send support.

Soon the young man and his friends were able to hire some staff to make and deliver sandwiches. The young man needed to spend his time more efficiently raising awareness and money. The story of the lives that were touched that first day continued to be compelling and a great many people were moved by how clearly he’d heard from God.

But here’s a question for us to ponder, am I racing through life fulfilling the duty God called me to or am I fully engaged in what He’s calling me to join Him in today?

The misunderstanding for the young man in this parable is that he thought God had called him to make sandwiches. It was never about sandwiches; it was always about loving people. That’s what He’s calling us to, daily. Some days there may be sandwiches other days something else. But the most important thing is to take our lead from God. That first day was miraculous because The Lord was leading and the young man was clinging to Him. I wonder what astonishing thing God had for the young man on the second day?

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Comments
  1. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Brian. I hope you’re having a great summer.

      • So far so good 🙂 Discovered fishing…courtesy of my boys. They really like it and have gone numerous times with their stepfather. I have never really fished before and after trying it this past weekend, it seems I quite enjoy it. It’s relaxing which is never a bad thing in this busy world. Just bought a rod & reel so I’m all set. Hope you’re doing well, my friend.

  2. Julie Dumond says:

    Man this was awesome…and convicting. Thanks Jim.

  3. andfoust13 says:

    Reblogged this on Inklings Index and commented:
    I still remember the first time Jim told me this parable. Thank you, Jim!

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