Serving in Little Things with Food Tidings

Saint Theresa the Little Flower was all about the little ways in which to serve our Lord.

Food Tidings, Food Tidings, I love to fear you. Let me explain: If you aren’t familiar with this wonderful online service, then I’m sure your wife is. It’s a way to sign up to bring families food. Usually dinners, when the family has had some sort of change of life experience (having a baby, sickness, a death, etc...).

Most of the families I know are larger than my own, so it’s not unusual to sign up and then have 8 kids plus parents to cook for. Here’s the kicker for me….I’m a bit disheveled most of the time. To get myself sheveled enough to sign up and then cook is a stretch for me. I still have trouble getting the right ratio of food to people in my own home, much less cooking for ten extra people. I have forgotten to cook for families, and then spent a small fortune at Zoe’s Kitchen bringing them food because they are counting on me to feed their family.

Conversely, I have been on the receiving end many times where my family received a warm, prepared, delicious dinner from another family.  I have seen in the eyes of those kind souls that it might have been a difficult feat bringing dinner. One has to buy the extra food, cook the extra food, deliver the extra food all in a day that was just as hard on its own, without adding anything extra. I have seen it in the eyes and I know that look, but I have always received this wonderful meal with a smile.  Serving in little ways, serving a family whether I know them or not, serving their family is the essence. Even if it’s taking the stress off for one meal. To know that maybe I can hold my newborn a few extra moments during that day, or cry for the loss of a loved one, is a huge relief. So the stress I feel in making the meal is quickly turned around, because I know first-hand what a prepared meal can do. I quickly sign up.

To serve in little ways, to serve in little ways, with a smile.

I have had many a family show up at my house at 5 o’clock with a delicious, prepared, meal and truly my heart is so grateful. Not to mention my kids not having to say, “Mom is it fend-for-yourself night, again?” The relief that a meal is taken care of for that day, sometimes, is priceless.  So the flip side is the panic and stress of looking at the calendar and seeing I have a delivery to make tonight, and I’m not prepared. I might say a few colorful words under my breath and scramble to be on time, but I quickly remember why I signed up:  Because someone out there needs a little help and I can serve them in this little way. It really creates a beautiful sense of community and solidarity, to rally around a family for a meal.

I’m not at the point yet where I can spend hours a week giving away from home…I do that in my home in my job as a homemaker. But to serve, that’s what I do everyday, serve. Some days with joy and a smile, some days…not so much, but that is my vocation….to serve, if only in a small way, such as bringing a dinner to a family - that it might reduce their stress, anxiety, and pressure to feed their family… sign me up. Sign me up. 

P.S. Please Lord let this Food Tidings be easy….let it not be free range meat, all organic, vegan, etc… If it is, thine food be done, and my family will eat ramen for a week to pay for it. And that’s ok, to serve in little ways, to serve in little ways, I keep telling myself, to serve in little ways and add a smile with that.

Samantha Tork