Lent Day 15… I Never Thought I’d Be On The Other Side

One of the things we’ve been doing each day with the L.A. Dream Center is what they call “Food Truck Ministry.” You might be thinking of food trucks – like those delicious distributors of various types of food in busy downtown street corners during lunch time… but this is a little different.

The food is fresh produce, rice, beans, bottled juice, and maybe even a snack item or two. We load the food into the trucks, then head out to a poor district in town to distribute the food.

People depend on this food. Most of the folks who come and stand in line to receive the food are moms and grandmothers. They are the ones doing whatever they can to put food on the table, good food in the bellies of their children.

The other day we were in South Central L.A. distributing food. I was standing next to Roberta – one of the members of our team – when she leaned over and whispered to me:

I used to be in these lines. I never thought I’d be on the other side.

It was a holy moment. A quiet hush. Grateful reverence. An awareness of how good God has been… that once Roberta needed to receive help, but now she is able to provide that help for others.

Sometimes our awareness of this kind of switch-up isn’t immediate. It doesn’t usually hit us over the head in one grand moment. Instead, it tends to creep up on us ever-so-slowly. And we first talk about it in whispers, not shouts.

For me, going from the prodigal son to a pastor who loves prodigals and wants the church to be the kind of place prodigals know they will be welcomed home to… well, this didn’t happen overnight in one big bang. It has been slowly brewing, getting stronger and stronger, year after year.

And then one day, in a holy place—like a park on the corner in South Central L.A.—you whisper with reverence, I never thought I’d be on the other side.

You want to do large things famous and fast. But most things that truly matter in life need small acts of overlooked love over a long period of time. —Zack Eswine


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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