A Call to Action
Our community was hit with the very sad news this week that Manna Kitchen will be closings its doors after more than two decades of service. This is a very sad story because the kitchen is currently delivering meals to about 80 people in our area, every week.
The Chapel of Light Church announced the closing, citing only that they believe the kitchen is no longer operating as it was originally intended, as the reason for the closure. The full statement regarding the closing will be on on the front page of this week's issue of the Tribune.
The question is now, is that the end of the story? I hope not.
Where are the Beatitudes? Where are those that believe in fulfilling the needs of the hungry, the unclothed and the downtrodden?
I know the answers to those questions and that is why I strongly believe the decision by the fine folks of Chapel of Light does not have to mean the end to Manna Kitchen.
I say that because I know the people in this area and I know how they rally when there is a need. I have seen the overwhelming rush to help those who have had a house fire, those who have been impacted by weather, and I know of ministries like Nick’s Mission, DeKalb HOPE and Harvest House.
I know beyond a shadow of doubt that there are those in this community who can pick up the torch and continue to make sure those 80-plus people do not spend a single day going hungry. There is an over abundance of good in our part of the world, and it shines brightest when the need is the greatest. It would not surprise me at all if this newspaper had a front page story to tell next week about a new group of folks that has come forward to carry on the services of Manna Kitchen.
Does it have to have the same name? No.
Does it have to operate in the exact same way? No.
Its only “have to” is to meet the needs of the people.
At this point, it really doesn’t matter why the congregation of Chapel of Light made the decision to close the kitchen. I’m sure they did so after much prayer, and feel in their heart it is the right thing for them to do. What does matter is that the need still exists and if the Lord God told them they should close it, then He most likely has directed someone else in the opposite direction.
The same goes for the water issues we are facing in Northeast Texas.
The fate of our water, the amount of our monthly water bills, and the future of where our water goes directly depends on us.
We, as a people, can sit back and watch as others dictate where our water goes and how much it costs, or we can get involved, and have a say in the matter. It is up to us, as a community, to hear the call for action, and answer it, or face the consequences of our inaction.
Through the course of American history, there have been many instances where the people rose up to injustice, and fought for a way of life they believed in deeply.
People like, oh ya know, Colonel William B. Travis at the Alamo, Sam Houston on the banks of the San Jacinto, Martin Luther King, Jr. on the streets of the deep South, and countless others.
We may not be facing an invading army of thousands, or persecution and assassination because of the color of our skin, but we are yet fighting a battle for our future, and a battle to take care of those who need us to stand in the gap for them.
Former Texas House Speaker Billy Clayton once said, “A born Texan has instilled in his system a mind-set of no retreat or no surrender. I wish everyone the world over had the dominating spirit that motivates Texans.” This is a time for that Texas spirit to rise up here in Bowie County and do what has to be done to protect our water, and take care of those in need.
It reminds of a time back in 2003, when our then State Representative, and my friend, Barry Telford, joined 50 of his peers and made the short trip to Ardmore, Oklahoma, to defend what they thought was right.
This is the same kind of time, and those same kind of people are still here. We just need to act.