When you grow up in the church, regardless of congregation size, denomination, or locale, there comes a point when the mantle is placed upon you to be called upon to bring food to the church for a funeral.
Sadly, this week, a dear member of our church choir and a neighbor, was killed in a tragic car accident. Everyone who knew her remains in a state of semi-shock and grief, and yet, in those times, food seems to be the most tangible way of saying “I’m sorry for your loss and we love you.” So this morning, I entered our church kitchen, laden with bags of homemade cookies.
I think back to my grandmother and my mother who have both taken their fair share of covered casserole dishes, fresh garden vegetables, and homemade chewy brownies to the church kitchen, where a grieving family awaits after goodbyes have been said and emptiness remains.
When grieving families are struggling to know how they will find strength to make it through the coming days, having a team of church ladies (and some men) to graciously set out and serve food, wrap up left-overs, take out the trash, wash dirty dishes and return them clean, is such a gift.
With all of my grandparents now worshiping at the feet of Jesus, I know how much it meant for food to be laid out on a table where all we had to do was select a piece of fried chicken, gather a helping of potatoes onto our plate, and sit down with family to share memories of our loved one. It took away the guess-work, the stress, and the pressure of managing such details ourselves.
Dear reader, if you or your loved ones are experiencing a time of loss, I pray Jesus, the Bread of Life, will sustain you in the days ahead, and that you also have a loving group of church ladies to draw alongside you and place before you a comforting meal to nourish your tired body and weary soul.