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A Gift of Cereal

Story contributed by Carol Hunt

On a hot, July morning, a child came running to the MUST van for his sack lunch.  He shared that he had a surprise for me to see on his kitchen shelf.  I walked with him through the dusty, clay yard to his door and entered a bare, dark trailer where his mother greeted us.  There on the kitchen shelf he pointed to a small plastic bag filled with cereal.  Smiling, he began to share his story.

“We almost never have cereal, but yesterday, a neighbor who had been to the MUST food place was given a box of cereal.  Last night she came over with her cereal box and gave me half.  As I got in bed I could not wait for morning to come because I knew I would have a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  Before I went to sleep I said my prayers and thanked God for the cereal and the sack lunch that you bring every day.”

And then, he took my hand and whispered, “When I grow up, I want to give out lunches just like you.”  As I walked out the door and down the broken wooden steps, I knew that I had just experienced a holy space.

This child’s expression of gratitude happened because of the compassion and presence of a neighbor and her simple gift.  If was love that brought her to share as she forgot her own needs.  Her gift of cereal and the sack lunch were made possible because a community called MUST also cared.

We discover love in the midst of ordinary moments.  In the quietness of the night, a little child’s prayer of hope and grateful joy affirms that he was loved.

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