with twenty thousand of my closest friends – well, twenty-thousand, eight hundred and fifty-nine to be exact. (but who’s counting?) Some of my friends were running, I guess they were in a hurry to get home for turkey dinner; but the rest of us, (about nineteen-thousand or so) walked parade style through the neighborhood enjoying the day, each other’s company and the spectacle (or maybe pageantry is a better word) of the occasion.
My fellow walkers and runners were of all shapes and sizes, of all ages and ethnicities, of all athletic abilities from those in wheelchairs to those with wings on their feet. Some were riding in strollers while others with white hair strolled the street beside them. (remember, God’s word says white hair is a crown of glory) So how did I know these people were all my close, personal friends? We were all wearing the same shirt! Yes, this is true. We were all wearing the same bright red shirt with the same logo. Now that’s unity!
Unity in the midst of such diversity is a beautiful thing to behold. And we were a united group – united in the reason we had each decided to take a walk or a run on this particular Thanksgiving day. We were walking/running to support those less fortunate, those in need of food and shelter. Those in need of what Wheeler Mission provides for people on a daily basis.
The event is the Drumstick Dash, the reason – raise support for Wheeler Mission and its’ many ministries, the result- many homeless people receive food, shelter, job training, counseling, support as they transition out of addiction to a new life and receive life itself as they learn the truth of the gospel message. Wheeler Mission ministers to the whole person, both body and spirit.
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16)
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Wheeler Mission addresses both the physical and spiritual needs of each and every person that they serve. This is what my fellow walkers/runners and I were united in supporting as we participated in the extravaganza on Thanksgiving morning. And believe me, it was extravagant, just like God’s love for each and every one of us.
There was live music and a light-hearted atmosphere as mini beach balls bounced around everywhere. The Drumstick Dash is a mixture of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one festive event. Costumes are everywhere you look. (just like Halloween) You see some Santas, gingerbread men and other Christmas themed participants. And true to Thanksgiving tradition (besides the turkeys) there are friends, family, food, fellowship, fun, and a faith that unites us in our diversity. A faith that says, people are redeemable not disposable. A faith that believes in second chances to the same infinite degree that God commands us to forgive one another. A faith that sustains. A faith that brings hope to the hurting people that Wheeler Mission serves every day of the year.
So . . . I took a walk today with several thousand of my close, personal friends and in the process helped to make the world a little better place. Wheeler is so much more than a walk, but the money raised on this one day supports their many ministries to people in need every day of the year. I will continue this walk, united in faith with all those who shared these special moments with me on this day; this day designated and dedicated to counting our blessings, to sharing what we’ve been blessed with and to giving thanks to the Giver of all good gifts, our Heavenly Father.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
gratefully and sincerely, Grace Day