Chris and I talk with the kids a lot about how we are each made differently and beautifully unique. Our strengths and weaknesses are rarely the same as someone else. I find myself constantly searching out real life examples and stories to share with my kids about people living out their gifts and passions. I want my kids to know the gifts and interests they have are there for a purpose. I want them to see how living out those gifts and interests can bring about so much adventure and joy.
About 11 years ago our friends Kelly and Erin began sharing with us their dream to make a difference among those that were hungry, hurting and in need of healing in downtown Tulsa. Through a chance encounter with a man living on the streets named Roy, they were in a sense forced to think about what they could do to make a difference. They considered what they had and along with another friend bought a couple lunches to share with the homeless.
Kelly and Erin both have children the ages of mine.
My kids know their families and know those men.
Last week Chris and I got to share with our boys the story of Kelly and Erin choosing to do something – to use what they had to brighten the day of another. We told our boys how these men they look up to faced fear and uncertainty. How their dream may have been criticized and how others may not have understood their actions. We shared with the boys how those men they look up to chose to love, to serve, to act selflessly and be a picture of Jesus despite their fears or what anyone else says.
We told them how 11 years ago they started with 5 lunches from Arbys….and how on Friday they would pass out their 75,000 lunch.
Then we loaded up the boys and let them watch Kelly, Erin and their Filling the Void team in action. What started with a couple men and some lunches has transformed into a team of individuals and companies doing far more than providing lunch. My boys got to watch firsthand the result of bold and selfless dreaming. It was awesome.
I took my camera along to document the 75,000 milestone day for Filling The Void. Out of respect to those in attendance, I’m only posting a few pictures of the team and my boys. What you see here is a very tiny picture of Filling the Void – this post is more about the gift of having incredible men in the lives of my boys….men that dream big, act boldly and welcome kids to come along for the ride.
Many of the individuals receiving a lunch placed coins and small bills in an offering bucket. Everything raised goes towards another Filling the Void group in Denver. My boys were so impacted by those that placed money into that bucket. The significance of their generosity and sacrifice marked my boys.
I’m so thankful for Kelly, Erin and their families. I’m thankful for the roles they play in the lives of my kids and my family. I’m thankful for the hope, love and compassion they are among their friends in downtown. I’m grateful that instead of using their time and voices to criticize or complain, instead they use their time and voices to be light.