THE GIVING TABLE

I am a resident of Murphey School Apartments, a housing facility for seniors of low income. You can surmise from its name that this complex was once a school. In fact, Murphey School is a historic landmark that was the first integrated elementary school in North Carolina. Amongst its attendees was Ralph A. Campbell Jr, the first African American to hold statewide office in our state.

People who live at Murphey School come from various backgrounds ranging from teaching school to being a cook. Other residents are here due to some of the misfortunes that life can bring. The thing that all of us have in common is what I call “the giving table.”

The giving table is located in the laundry room of this senior facility. Various items from food to clothing can often be found on this table. These needed gifts are taken and appreciated as needed, and the table keeps being replenished. As I have given such items as to the above I have graciously received others, including beautiful mugs and even a DVR. This kind of interplay reflects both giving and receiving out of the needs of the residents. Although we are low income, we help and support each other.

In Philippians 4:12-19 we find a giving and receiving relationship with the Apostle Paul and the Philippian Christians. They gave to Paul even out of their own need. In return Paul prayed for their well being as he knew that God would supply all of their needs (Philippians 4:19).

The needs that we experience in life are often interrelated; thus, a person of low wealth who is going through a struggle can help a person of means who is going through a similar situation. In fact, at some level we all experience the same kind of needs: needs like receiving love or getting support in an hour of loneliness. Through Christ may we be aware of the needs that we have so that we might meet the needs of another.