My seven-year-old son is a rambunctious type who loves to make people laugh. So I was surprised when my husband told me he was taking my son to cook a sumptuous breakfast for 70 hungry men coming to our church. These men come broken and tired, often showing signs of a hard life that doesn’t make them the most approachable bunch. I predicted my son would only be in the way of hot pans and knives or get lost in the crowd. Still, bleary eyed and excited, with messy morning hair and whispering voices, the two of them ignored my comments and tiptoed out the door.
An hour later, I received a picture of my son, stirring a large batch of potatoes, peppers, mushrooms and onions. Then my husband sent me message telling me that my son had decided, on his own, to start setting up the chairs and tables in the church foyer. Weighing in at about 50 pounds, I could only imagine how this little guy was wrangling chairs! Once the men were seated, my son decided to serve them steaming plates of breakfast, without being asked. He continued to check in with his dad to see if there were kitchen duties, and when there weren’t any, he would make himself useful wherever he could.
That morning, my son walked into the reality that God uses unlikely people in every situation. My son was wholeheartedly willing to be used to demonstrate hospitality. To hear my son describe different things he did and how he interacted with people was a gracious reminder to me that serving can come before equipping. Now he looks forward to these monthly gatherings as a place where he “works”. If he is even a few minutes late, he will exclaim “Dad! I ‘m late! I need to get in there and do my job!” I pray that God would continue to use my son whatever way He chooses, and that my doubts would be replaced by the confidence that God uses unlikely people (even children) to accomplish His purposes!