One of the most common (and welcomed) questions asked us is, “What can we bring you to eat?” How lovely. People care. People want to bless. People want to do something.
Taking food to someone who is hurting is as Christian as American used to be apple pie. It is what believers do. Are you hurting? We bring food, one of the most practical ways Christians love Christians. Truly, it is a huge blessing especially when the “cook in the kitchen” is laid up in bed and the breadwinner does not make bread.
As for the question, “what would you like for us to bring,” I honestly prefer not to make suggestions–unless there are restrictions on things we can’t (or shouldn’t) eat. Our true preference is for individuals to bring the things they enjoy eating. When they get to bring the things they like to eat, that is the thing we want to eat.
The “gospel implications for bringing food” are just as important to us as the other zillion gospel implications for doing life in a community, like the previous post about the necessity of our children entering into their mother’s suffering.
One of our primary parenting strategies is helping our children to connect the gospel to all of life. When folks bring what they like to eat, we get to learn them better, know them more, enjoy what they enjoy while entering into an aspect of their lives. If we only eat what we like, we don’t learn them, grow outside our preferences, or mature in other-centered Bible imperatives.
The “other-centered aspects of the gospel” are important to us. For example, our friends, Rick and Becky, brought dumplings made with Spelt. Who eats dumplings made with Spelt? We don’t. That is something we would never eat in a million years, but we got to eat what they eat, and it was fabulous. Our affinity for Rick and Becky grew by eating their food preferences.
Our friends, Tom and Missy, made some odd chocolate chip cookies and some muffins with interesting ingredients. Plus, they wrote out the recipes, perchance we wanted to make them. Guess what? I want my daughter, who is currently fascinated with cooking, to make what they made for us.
Those odd cookies and interesting muffins were amazing. I may (or may not) have had too many of them the past two days. They were perfect with my one cup of coffee that I get each morning. I want more!
The other food option that folks could bring would be what we always eat. Where’s the gospel adventure in that? How restrictive. We don’t want to grow more inward, always absorbing what we like. We want to be a “gospelized” family that is always leaving our comfort zone so we can enter into the lives of others (Philippians 2:5-6).
If you give us what you like, you will allow us to enter into your story. You will help us to become more like Jesus.