Tonight, as I munched my way through a really delicious dinner made for my family by a dear friend of mine, I started thinking some big thoughts.
Always a dangerous thing.
To some, the idea of having someone else cook you a meal (when you’re not ordering through a speaker or seated at a table somewhere other than home) is a completely foreign idea.
What’s wrong with ya? Pull yer socks up. Can’t you do that simple task for your family?
Well, to answer your questions that I’m sure are floating around your head, if they weren’t already they will be by the power of suggestion….nothing is wrong with me. I’m as good as gold thanks. I have just finished my five days/nights of working the job I do to pay our bills, and one of my kids is not well and has spent the last three days curled up, asleep in a blanket on the floor/ sofa/carseat, and my much better half is kinda missing in action at the moment with a lot of work stuff on the go at the moment. (And by the way, if your sick kid who has not eaten more than a bite or two in two and a half days, asks you for a cream donut, by golly you go to three lunchbars in the hope of finding him that aforementioned cream donut and you thank Jesus for the plethora of lunchbar options close to where you are.) But I am perfectly capable of cooking my family a meal. And, here’s the thing; today I didn’t have to. Today I was given the gift of time and was able to take care of some other jobs as well as have a little bit of down time and catch my breath a little.
Today, because of someone else’s thoughtfulness I was able to just have a little breather.
And wouldn’t we all like to be able to give others a chance to do the same, when the rubber hits the road for them?
Not every person reading this shares the same faith as me, but I love that you still read this. I love that no matter what spiritual journey you’re on, I know that you truly care about others. You all desperately hate it when loved ones are facing real struggles, when the diagnosis comes out of the blue, the diagnosis that shakes you to the core. You all hurt when others hurt. You want to take the physical pain away, but there’s not much you can do. You feel helpless. You feel inadequate.
Just remember that there is one thing you can do when life is tricksy for others – take them a meal. Just like I had my dinner made for me tonight.
Here’s a wee something I know to be true from both being on the receiving end of a blessing and of giving such blessings away:
Don’t ever under-estimate the depth and breadth of meaning that the gift of a ready-prepared meal can bring to someone.
You see its not really about the actual food.
And its not really about the presentation of the meal.
And its certainly not about the amount of money spent on the meal. (Most times, simple cheaper food is just as yummy as more expensive meals).
Its about the fact that someone took time out of their (most likely) very full day to think about you. To think about what could possibly make your life just a little bit easier, just a little bit happier.
Gosh darn it, someone cared about you.
And that my friends is one of the things that really matters in life. Caring for others. Being Jesus with skin on. Again, I turn to Pete Greig’s powerful words ‘Sometimes it’s not enough to tell a suffering friend you’re praying for them. sometimes you have to become the answer to your own prayer’.
Take a meal – and I guarantee that you will make someone’s day. And in doing so – you just may make your day.