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Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Tulsa’s Little Slice of Heaven

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Submitted By: Slowfo

One afternoon near the downtown area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Joe and Steve (not their real names because these guys are the types that wouldn’t want everyone to know what they’re doing anyway) decided to have a cookout at a local park. Busy flipping burgers on the grill, the two were approached by a homeless man. He asked if they had any extra food because he was hungry. The friends invited him to sit with them and eat. After enjoying a filling meal and some pleasant conversation, somewhat in jest, Joe said, “We should do this next week.” The homeless man took him seriously. “Really? Could I invite some friends because they’re probably hungry too?” “Sure, why not?” Steve replied. The three agreed that they would have some burgers together next week too. And it began.

That afternoon was more than two years ago. Since then, every single week no matter what the weather, Joe, Steve and other Jesus followers and a crowd of hungry people who are down on their luck, get together at the park and eat. They’ve had as many as approximately 125 show up but there were only 75 this last Thursday when I joined them. They always have enough food even though at times, Joe and Steve can’t really figure out how they fed everyone with the amount of food they brought.

There’s no one church behind these cookouts. There’s no plan on who funds the meals. No major donors. No agenda other than just to love each other, provide a free meal and recognize God’s presence in the midst of it. That night, after milling around and striking up some conversations with both helpers and homeless (and often times, I couldn’t tell them apart – which made it even better), we gathered together for prayer before the meal started.

We spread out in the middle of the grassy field and grabbed hands together. African-American gang members grabbed hands with Pentecostals. Cross-dressers with missionaries from China. There were former first degree felons and fundamentalists. Charismatics and crack-addicts. Alcoholics and Anglicans. But what I saw when we all grabbed hands to pray was that all of the labels and histories faded away. We were just people together giving God thanks for His presence, His provisions and His love. I have no idea what heaven will be like but I hope it will be a little like a Thursday night cookout at a park in Tulsa.

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