At first glance, it just looked like a suitcase full of Ziploc bags and yarn. Nothing remarkable. Nothing overwhelming. Surely nothing worthy of the title of true missions work.
But it was overwhelming. It was remarkable. In that suitcase was far more than just plastic and yarn.
In that suitcase was love.
On Sunday, the children from Mercy Mission Children's Home gathered in the campus pavilion and sat quietly, as they always do, in tidy lines according to size. One by one they were each handed a bag with their name on it. In that bag was a hand-knitted hat and a pair of gloves. Hats and gloves made specifically for that child.
The knitted items were gifts from a group of women in Loveland, Colo., who call themselves the Knit Wits. Armed with names, ages and sizes they set out to make a hat and glove set for every child at Mercy Mission, hoping their small gesture would bring joy to the lives of children they have never met.
And there joy!!
Slowly, smiles began to spread across tiny faces as the children realized what they had been given. Gifts for them, sent from people a world away who had taken the time to create such creative accessories. The children laughed and modeled their new wares, waving mittened hands at cameras and admiring their friends' hats.
It was Love in action.
It was the love of women in a place these children will most likely never visit. The love of strangers, poured out through the sacrifice of hours of stitches. Love, evident in piles of hats and scarves and mittens. It was agape. And it was beautiful.
Laughter filled the campus at Mercy Mission Children's Home on Sunday, and it was laughter brought on by a group of women who chose to reach beyond themselves into the lives of others. Women who understand Matthew 25:36-40.
"'I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them,
'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
It was a reminder, that sometimes, missions work is more than the grand gestures, more than the presentations and the slideshows, more than the stories of large accomplishments that fill newsletters.