His hands gripped the door tightly as he leaned against the frame. Weak from illness and taken aback, he cautiously held out a hand for the dinner. Confusion drew his eyebrows together, as he quietly said, “Nobody has ever done anything like this for me before.” A smile slowly took over his face. A connection was made.
Did you know that today, in your own cupboard, there are likely the tools to better someone’s life? Everyday, commonplace items that contain a bit of magic when gathered to nourish a weary spirit.
We underestimate how simple it is to create change in our world. How little effort it requires to make a tangible difference.Feeding people is about more than their hunger for physical needs, we're filling up their spirits . Click To Tweet
A meal has the power to nourish our soul
I can personally attest to the power of a meal. Due to an extended health challenge, people stepped into the gap and brought dinners. This was the first time that I swallowed my pride and asked.
Friend, do you think I could get on one of those meal trains? I am drowning, I said with tears stinging my eyes. Embarrassed, yet desperate. Please, I just…need help.
Could I have kept my need close to my breast, discouraged no one was there for me in a crisis? Sure. But, and I mean this as delicately as possible, why?
What benefits from pride being the anchor on a drowning neck? With only a few humble words whispered, people wanted to step in. Because we all understand that when someone asks? They are near a slippery slope.
It isn’t so much the food, again, it is please, help me make it through this week, this night, this moment. Those friends stepped up and took charge.
A few were fancy with beautiful garnishes. Some were picked up at the grocery store on the way to our home.
All were equally welcome gifts.
As a result, those acts of kindness and generosity restored my spirit, relieved a burden, and fed my family. When the family finally slept, tears slipped down my cheeks with gratitude.
Chef skills aren’t required
Offerings don’t have to be fancy, or even homemade. When someone is suffering, the thought truly matters more than the meal components.A meal is a gesture that speaks a communal language that crosses all boundaries, across all cultures. Click To Tweet
Food becomes a gift that is so personal, so tied to our heart offering, that our culinary skills are barely registered.
While we appreciate the delicate flavors of an extraordinary meal, what we are really hungry for is to be seen and nurtured.
Almost 200 years ago hospitality was defined, “The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.”
Kindness and generosity are ingredients essential to our gestures. We can ditch our fears of being a poor cook, or having a small budget. We give out of what we have without any expectation except for the joy of offering a small relief to another in need.
Or, just for the delight of surprising someone with an unexpected break!
Hospitality isn’t complicated
Changing the world can start with a simple pantry sharing from one house to another.
With very little effort, with minimal ingredients, we have an astounding capacity for altering people’s lives.Generosity of the hands leads to a generosity of the spirit. Click To Tweet
The recipient will feel the love behind the gift, and then they too can look for a need. Therefore, making a meal begins a powerful domino effect.
How to change the world from your kitchen
- Send the food in disposable containers. The recipient then doesn’t need to think about returning dishes
- Keep the meal simple. Complex flavor profiles might be wasted on a family with small children
- Ask about food allergies or preferences before cooking. Accommodating the recipient need not be a hassle if we know in advance what their needs are
- If possible, including paper napkins and plates. Festivity can be added for the same price, and lend a bit of cheer to the table
- Add a short note, a scripture, a flower. Some personal touch that humanizes their need and reminds them that someone cares
- Make extra for their freezer. Click here for some great meal planning ideas here
- No time to cook? Grab a frozen meal or pick up a gift card. Remember, it is the effort that we save them (often mental!) that is part of the gift
We can make a difference today
Changing the world from our kitchen is doable. It is the first step in a line of simple gestures that communicate security.
I asked a few friends of mine what meal sharing means to them–
Being given dinner for me means generosity and also building relationship. It’s more than just food. Food is just a bonus — James Prescott
Reverence that I’m actually worthy of being given the time and money and effort that meal is a result of — Lotta Wanner
When I create meals, I pour my soul into the bowl — Renee Baude
When we received meals for a week after my wife miscarried, we knew for the first time that our family wasn’t just those who shared our genetic code, but included people in our church who knew our mess, but loved us anyway — Chris Morris
Your turn- have you been impacted by a surprise offering of food? What did it mean to you?
Interested in building community by using a meal? Check out this Pinterest board for some fresh ideas on reaching out.
Community is the backbone we need for the times when life steals our own strength. Let’s invest in each other! It can start small and incredibly simple. As long as it starts…
Make a plate, bring a smile, share life.
Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
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