by Tammy Phillips
“The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.”
Proverbs 22:2 (KJV)
The neighbors used to call it The Little White House because of its resemblance to the home of the U.S. President that was three miles down the street. The house was built in 1910 by a developer named Arthur Randle. His vision was to build mansions up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. World War One derailed his grand plans.
In 1996, the house was acquired by a ministry and the name was changed to The Southeast White House. A variety of activities were held in the house, one being the Wednesday reconciliation luncheon. The best china, silverware, glasses, napkins and tablecloths along with the tastiest food were presented in the dining room. The invitation to attend this luncheon was extended to everyone.
After the host welcomed the guests to the luncheon, icebreaker instructions were then given: State your name, where you were born and what you are doing now. Then a fun, thought-provoking question would be added. One of my favorite memories was when the fun question was, “What would people be surprised to know about you?” A guest enthusiastically shared that she weighed 262 pounds. The ice broke, everyone laughed and the bonding began.
People from all walks of life have attended the one-hour luncheon. Homeless men and wealthy couples have talked while sharing a bowl of soup or a plate of pasta. Struggling pastors and prominent politicians have debated about the events of the week. The unemployed and successful business owners have shared information. We were never sure who would show up. But, regardless of the mix of people, God blessed them.
According to Proverbs 22:2, God made the rich and the poor. Therefore, to Him, one is no more important that the other. Since their Maker is God, He wants them to regard one another as family without any distinction. According to Proverbs 14:31, he who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. Job said, “For God created both me and my servants. He created us both in the womb” (Job 31:3). Psalm 49:2 states, “Both low and high, rich and poor together.”
The luncheon at The Southeast White House every first and third Wednesday is a marvelous picture of rich and poor, young and old, male and female and every color in the crayon box sharing a meal, sitting side by side. This picture pleases God.