They showed up at my door with hands overflowing with food, overflowing with God’s love.
Meals delivered for nearly a week, me in tears as I answered the door. A heart burdened with sadness due to the death of my Dad the weekend before.
And their hearts burdened with the love of God, burdened with a desire to be the hands and feet, and heart, of God.
My mind thinking that we didn’t really need this, we could manage to make dinners for ourselves. Brought up to think that self-sufficiency was the ideal. To rely on others was weakness. And even when I resisted, still they came. People who we met with faithfully every Sunday, searching together to know God, to know His heart, to apply His words to our lives.
We’d only been attending two years. We were young. We didn’t really know these people THAT well. But never before had I felt God’s love being poured out through others like this. At first feelings of guilt, again, we could make our own meals even in the midst of tears. They knew that. But they didn’t care.
Caring for one another like this – it seemed so foreign to us. Who would make a meal for another family like this? Who would take the time to prepare and deliver it when we really didn’t need them to do so?
They would. And the love showed through those acts of service overwhelmed me.
They knew something that we didn’t know at that time. Being the hands and feet of Jesus, showing God’s love, is not a burden. It’s a blessing.
We didn’t need the food. But we needed the love that went into it. We felt loved, and cared for, and we wanted to be part of it. Part of a church whose members did this for each other. We also needed to learn how to be humble. Humility is opening the door and letting someone in. Being part of the body of Christ requires that humility. Not only opening the door to your home, but opening the doors to your heart and life. This is what the body of Christ does for one another.
Years have passed since then. More meals delivered, by different people but with the same love. When children were born, when my heart broke from a miscarriage, when a baby was in the ICU, when a gallbladder got removed, after an unexpected overnight in the hospital.
That first meal, and all those meals, I remember. Not for what I ate, but for the love that was shown.
And we now make it a priority to be part of the blessing. Making and delivering meals. Praying over the receivers. Being a blessing to others, but mostly God’s blessing poured out on us when we give. We give food, but not food – love. God’s love.
So today I take a meal to a mom from MOPS with a new baby. I hardly know her. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that God’s love is felt through my being faithful to act on His behalf.