Food….one of our most basic of needs is right up there with water and air. A person can go without food for about three weeks and up to eight weeks if drinking water. Most of us, gratefully, eat every few hours when awake.
Eating food is a basic need, but when we are weary or hurting it can become one of the hardest things to supply for ourselves. The act of planning what to eat, shopping for the food, putting it away, cooking it, eating it and then cleaning it all up can look daunting when tired or stressed out.
I remember when my daughter was in college and juggling taking a heavy load of classes as well as work and keeping up with relationships. She wished there was a pill she could take that would fill her stomach up. Cooking seemed like too much work.
On the other hand, preparing food for others can be one of the easiest ways to care for them. Preparing food from home or even purchasing it from a restaurant is a relatively easy way to give. It’s easier than having a difficult conversation where there is stress involved. It’s easier than talking deeply with people when a loved one is dying. It’s easier than sitting quietly with someone who is mourning and we don’t know how to make it better for them.
This past week found me in the kitchen cooking for a family. The instructions were that each meal needed to feed 10-12 people because there were many in their large family coming and going. Coming and going because their mother, wife, and friend was suffering terribly and could not lovingly prepare meals for her own family anymore.
After I delivered a meal to this family, the husband showed me some of their beautiful yard. But then I saw that weeds three feet tall grew in the garden planted by his wife just a few short months before. Too weak to clean it up and the family too busy to care for it, the weeds are growing with the same speed as the tumor in her head. One looks messy, the other will kill unless there is a miracle. They still pray and hope each day.
Sometimes the easiest gifts are one of the most necessary. So dozens have offered to bring meals to this family so that they can serve and survive. The harder part is the next gift: providing something else necessary to live but harder to give. It might be time, it might be mowing a lawn, it might be cleaning out a chicken coop, it might be weeding that garden….
Today I’m so grateful for all who have sacrificially given to me. It might have come easy for you. It might not have been easy.
Thank you. We try to pass on your generosity to others as able.
P. S. Just before posting this I saw that our friend has died and is now in the presence of God.