It never ceases to amaze (and bless) me — to see 10,000 homemade cookies in one place.
I get a front row seat to just such a modern-day miracle, every time I serve on a Kairos Prison Ministry team. One of our traditions is to bring homemade cookies into the prison–offering the inmates a “bottomless bowl” of cookies as a symbol of the depth of God’s love for each and every one of them.
Of course, the symbol only works if we have enough cookies to last the weekend. And to deliver on the promise, each team member is asked to provide 40 dozen.
That’s right: 40 DOZEN. ¡Ay, caramba!
Only we’re not supposed to make ’em all ourselves. We go begging for cookies, as a way of giving the broader Christian community the opportunity to participate in the ministry.
In the weeks ahead of the Kairos weekend, the word goes out — through church bulletins and flyers, over ‘blast’ email lists, and by word of mouth. But you’re never really sure who’s listening…or whether the appeal for cookies will get lost in the shuffle of a thousand other requests to support good causes within the Christian community.
And then comes “Cookie Day” — the final day of team formation, when each team member does his best imitation of the Biblical youth offering up a humble stash of loaves and fishes.
And before long, our meeting room starts to fill with bags and sacks and boxes and baskets of cookies…
…a mind-numbing abundance of goodness and goodies, poured out by the Christian community at large.
It takes the better part of half an hour just to sort through them all…and repack them into plastic totes for transport into the prison.
Yesterday, when the task was done, we had filled 22 totes in all — creating a stack over three feet high and 12 feet long– brimming with something on the order of 10,500 cookies in all.
Just an amazing sight, to say the least. For us as team members, it was a re-confirmation that the love of Christ is alive in the hearts of all who contributed.
What a blessing — to know that the Christian community is still doing today what St. Paul exhorted his friends in Philippi to do when he wrote to them around 60 AD:
Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the Word of life.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy One.