After my husband and I finished adding our picnic blanket to the growing circle of lawn chairs and blankets that was quickly forming amidst the trees at Roy G. Holland park, we decided to sit for a moment, to soak in the annual Hands of Hope picnic experience.
There were young kids squealing with delight as they bounded around in a bounce house shaped like a dog, teens affectionately painting creative masks and butterflies on some of the younger children faces, and adults gathered around observing the beautiful early summer evening unfold with joy on their faces.
We snapped back to reality just in time to hear the announcement of dinner. Each family began to gather under the picnic shelter, excitedly discussing summer plans. After a few moments the lively crowd quieted. Newly adopted children were celebrated and a prayer was said over the meal.
As each family joined into the line for food, I was reminded of the scripture: “When I walk in love God is present.” (1 John 4:12).
Throughout the remainder of the evening, the sentiment of this scripture grew in my heart. We were introduced and welcomed into Hands of Hope’s community of families with open arms, abounding smiles and passionate hearts.
I soon realized the picnic was going to be difficult to write about. I could easily tell you about the kid-friendly real estate we had at the park, conveniently sandwiched between two playgrounds. I could tell you about the delicious potluck everyone helped supply, but descriptive words and witty analogies pale in comparison to the feeling you experience when you attend. You may not have been able to physically see God at the park that day, but He was most definitely present; in every smile, every kind introduction, in every family.