Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Gospel of Food

This week I had the honor of performing a funeral for a friend's mother. To my surprise God has revealed to me over the years that funeral's are in my wheelhouse. That is to say, He's gifted me in such a way to serve people well through them. As I see it, for me as the officiant I am in essence the story-teller of the deceased's life. Listening and putting words together in a meaningful way is a good fit for me. It's a blessing to bless people in this way. God is good.

Nevertheless, this post is not about that. This is about the simple and profound impact of food.

While we were at the funeral, Shelia Miller had arranged to bring a huge spread of fabulous food to the family's home. Prior to that, she had organized a small army of women to bring these dishes to the church.

Most people in our church don't know this behind-the-scenes stealth group of culinary angels exists. But allow me to say, their impact is profound and meaningful.

As we got back to the house, a huge spread of comforting food enveloped the large kitchen, from sides, salads, entrees and desserts. As I hung out over the next hour I honestly can't tell you how many times I overheard these words,

"Who brought all this food. It's amazing!" "DeAnna's church." "Wow..."

It's truly amazing what a simple and touching blessing it is for a family who just buried a loved one, to come home to an array of wonderfully delicious food. It's more than just convenience; it's very real care and compassion.

And I just kept hearing, "WHO did this?" "The church. Her church did this."

I can assure you, this makes an impact on people. I didn't know everyone there. But I know there was everything from sinner to saint. And it spoke to them all. Compassion is the universal language of love. It translate whether Christ is one's Savior or just an idea.

At a time like this, food is one of the most loving testimonies the church could provide. I am so proud of Shelia and all the women who serve stealthily in such a hands-on loving way. The gospel of food speaks to everyone in challenging times; and I believe the Holy Spirit uses this opportunity to linger about the bounty.

Pass the chicken...