It was like walking in a corn maze. I'd been told a group from my church was going to meet at a community Thanksgiving pancake gathering. Plans changed last minute and I didn't get the memo. I walk in 15 minutes late.
Three women surround me at the door of this church gym/cafeteria. "Are you hungry?"
"You want us to fix you a plate?"
"You want a plate to go?"
I'm looking at the plates and see green beans, so I tell them I might be in the wrong place. "What church is this?" (I'm new in town and saw no sign, just cars.)
Yes, it's the place, but nearly empty. "They've just gone into the service," one said. I'm wondering -- how did they feed the whole town in 15 minutes? Maybe I had the time wrong, too. I tell them no thanks; "I'm looking for my group."
As I enter the auditorium, the usher wants to help. "I'm looking for my people," I tell him. He lets me stand at the back and scan the crowd. Nobody I know is there. I remember something about our staff helping in the kitchen so I step back out and look there. Nope. I go back. The whole night I'm scanning the crowd. There's a dessert afterward and I'm still scanning. I meet others along the way and tell each one I'm looking for my people, looking for my group.
Finally, I leave the building and find myself in a crowd. The local food ministry is handing out boxes from a truck. Some are helping, some are receiving, and I realize here's the whole town I've been praying for, all in one place. I look around at their faces and realize -- you're my people. You're my group. You're the reason God's moving heaven and earth for me to be here.
I am home.