I love the chance to bless the socks off of someone I love. And while I’m not a baker or an expert chef, I love to bless with food.
A few weeks ago my neighbor and friend left for a two-week vacation with her family. While she was away I happily agreed to water her flowers, pick up her mail, and keep an eye on their house while they were gone.
About a week into their vacation she sent me a text saying their plans had changed. Her husband’s father had been scheduled for surgery to treat a cancerous tumor that had been found in his brain.
Feeling deeply for my friend and her family I wanted to do more than water plants and pick up their mail so I started to consider other ways we could bless our friends in their time of need.
Before my friend left for their trip she mentioned to me that she was trying her best not to go to the grocery store so food wouldn’t spoil while they were away. With this in mind I knew they were coming home to an empty fridge and pantry.
The last thing I want to do after being away from home is head for the grocery store. And I didn’t want my friend to have to do this either.
As I did my own grocery shopping I picked up a few basics to get them started upon their return. Milk, eggs, bread, fruit, and juice for their kids went into my shopping basket and home to my kitchen to await their return.
Still I wanted to do more. I knew they had been through two hard weeks. Having a long awaited vacation interrupted by a serious family emergency is trying on so many levels and all I wanted was to show them we care.
On the day before their expected arrival my husband mowed their lawn and I baked zucchini bread. I added a fresh loaf to the grocery pile and planned a supper to take over to their house for their first night home.
As I boiled pasta, chopped veggies, and sliced up bread for their supper I thought about food and how it so often seems like the most natural way to comfort the people we love.
When babies are born, when friends are sick, when loved ones pass away food may be the number one way we show our support and care.
A meal taken to friend seems to say far more than even the best Hallmark card. Essentially it says, “I can’t fix this, but I can fix a meal. I can bring you food that nourishes something basic, something core to who you are. I can show you, in a fundamental way, that you are loved, and cared for, and taken care of.”
The gift of food is also amazing because it nurtures not just the receiver but also the one doing the cooking, the baking, the taking of the meal. As I cooked for my friends I felt drawn to God as if I were taking on a part of Him, a part of who He is, a part of what He does by nourishing far more than physical needs. While I cooked I also prayed that through these groceries, that through this meal, my friends would be drawn to Him as well, that their stomachs and hearts would be filled.
When the groceries and food were delivered my friend’s reaction was priceless. As I fussed over whether or not I got their preferred type of milk, and how I should have thought to bring cereal, or how I forgot to grab their mail, my friend stopped me and said, “Jen, we feel so loved. Everything you did was perfect.”
These are words I’ll always cherish, not as a pat on my back or boost to my own ego, but as evidence we accomplished our goal. We made them feel loved. In the midst of a crisis we saw a need and met it. We became Christ with pasta and brownies.
I love the chance to bless the socks off someone I love because, really, it blesses my socks off too.
The Perfect Take-Over Meal
This recipe is one of my favorites when it comes to a meal that is easy to prepare and easy to transport. It is delicious, perfect for a new mom, kid-friendly, and has become a favorite amongst my family and friends. I love to round out the meal with a tossed salad, a loaf of Italian bread, and brownies for dessert.
Creamy Pesto Chicken
2-3 Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (Cooked)
16 oz. (1 box) Rotini pasta
1/3 c Basil pesto sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Oven Temp: 350 degrees
While chicken is cooking, boil and drain pasta. When chicken is fully cooked remove from the oven and cut into bite size pieces. Mix cooked pasta in large bowl with Alfredo sauce, basil pesto, and chicken.
Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Top with shredded parmesan.