If Food Was a Love Language
When we moved into our new neighborhood a few months ago, we knew several people but none of our nearest neighbors. One night I cooked a huge pot of chicken n’ dumplings and then stared at all the leftovers. In our old neighborhood we had neighbors across the street we would call and share whatever we had left.
We were known to put out a call to our neighbors to help us eat extra burgers, ribs and BBQ too. For the last few years, I helped my mom with her garden. I routinely had more tomatoes, squash and peas than we would eat so those were shared with the neighbors as well.
This summer we’ve gotten to know some of our new neighbors and I shared some of those same fresh veggies with them when I had some. My daughter comments one day, “mom, you’ve given them a lot, what have they given us?”
It only took a minute for me to reply, “It doesn’t matter. It isn’t about what we receive in return. We had more than we needed so we shared with others. It’s called loving your neighbor.”
A few days later I was listening to the God Centered Mom podcast and her guest said we all have so many things we want to teach our children, but we’ll be too overwhelmed to teach them anything we try to do it all. She suggested choosing three character traits we want our children to have and focus on those.
I want my children to be generous people. God has blessed us. But He hasn’t blessed us so we can keep all that to ourselves. He’s blessed us so we can bless others.
Many years ago I was in a horrible car accident. When I finally went home from the hospital my friends had lined up days of meals for us. A year later we had our first round of babies and the meal train kept on running. It’s been running through babies, surgeries, and many other stressful times. The giving of food isn’t limited to me and it’s not limited to people we know well. When my son was having a particularly rough year in school, I left a box of doughnuts in the teacher’s lounge. My husband is known to buy lunch for various people he runs across who need a hot meal.
I’m not a doctor (although I tell people I can do a pretty good job of calling 9-1-1 if needed). I’m not a counsellor. I’m not a lawyer. I’m not God. I can’t heal the sick or bring the dead back to life or make difficult situations go away. But I can feed your body. It's not listed as a spiritual gift or a love language, but it’s gone a long way to help me win friends and strengthen bonds. So if we bring you food, don’t feel obligated to return any favor, just know it’s our way of saying we like you.