John 21:4-6 (NRSV)
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.
On the third Wednesday of the month, the folks from Mosaic District Church gather at Brother's Brother. The Brother's Brother Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with hospitals, medical suppliers and salespersons to collect unwanted or unused medical supplies. These medical supplies are then sorted by volunteers and then repackaged and sent to countries in need all around the world. The picture above is the just one section of recently donated supplies on pallets that need to be sorted.
Brother's Brother depends upon volunteers to go through the boxes so the rest of the paid staff can focus on shipping logistics and working with medical partners to receive more donations. The volunteer work is always interesting. You would be surprised what we find when we open these boxes (I will take some pictures and post them next month).
The other benefit Brother's Brother provides is environmental. If Brother's Brother was not reaching out to these medical entities and working with them to receive donations, the pallets of boxes upon boxes would find their way strait into the landfill. After a couple of nights volunteering at Brother's Brother it is easy to realize there is an abundance of medical supplies around us, but there is an equally great need for the medical supplies in other areas of the world.
Abundance was on my mind this past Wednesday, because I just returned from a trip to my hometown in Massachusetts. While the family and I were there, we went nectarine and blueberry picking. Behind the dark green leaves were tons of red and yellow fruit ready to be picked.
The average nectarine tree will annually yield around three bushels of fruit, which is equal to between 120 and 150 pounds. That is a lot of fruit, and more than any one person or family can handle in a year. Multiply those numbers by the twenty or so rows in the orchard and you can see how abundantly our natural world provides.
Sometimes we take this abundance around us for granted. It is easy to act like the disciples and go out looking for what we want and become frustrated when we don't get it. Yet, when Jesus enters the picture and encourages us to take another look, the God given abundance is more than we can handle.
The items we sorted this past Wednesday will be inventoried, placed back on pallets and then stacked into a shipping container headed for Haiti. As one volunteer said, "its like I am handing the box directly to someone in need, because they will be the next one to open it." Sometimes it feels like we are wrapping presents and giving gifts.
Praying for a greater ability to see the abundance around us, and for the wisdom and insight to creativly help find its way to those in need.