What would happen if the church went out onto the streets on a Sunday morning, and gave stuff away....? One church in East Anglia set up a tab behind the counter at the local Greggs bakery, and gave away 'free hugs' to passers by....
While we are merrily hugging people on Sunday morning, people also encounter a grace gift as they stand at the till ready to pay for their food at the bakery just behind us. Some people (but not a lot) come out to express their thanks. Others decline the offer and ask that the gift is used for people who need it more than they do. The ladies working in Greggs do a great job as evangelists. “would you like the Church to pay this for you?” I hear the assistant manager ask people as one after the other people come to pay.
After a couple of hours I take a break from hugging and call in at the local tattoo shop to catch up with the staff and they ask what I’ve been up to. The owner, a loving young man is touched by the simplicity of showing love to people that he thrusts £20 into my hand to refresh the money supply behind the counter of Greggs.
After giving more dosh to the staff to use to offer people a free gift I direct some guys off the streets who are homeless to choose their lunch. They express their gratitude as they leave Greggs with a hearty lunch each… Courtesy of a man who owns a tattoo shop and served by Greggs staff who explain that their lunch is a gift from the church.
more at be the light
apologies to anyone who read this before 9.30 and couldn't make sense of it, the paragraphs are now in the right order!!