To Give Your Best

Have you ever had a meal brought to you?  Say, you had a sickness, or a surgery, or a baby, or lost a loved one, and a dear friend shows up at your door holding out hot home-cooked food.  It felt pretty special, right?

It IS pretty special.  When our baby came, our church coordinated a meal train for people to bring us dinners for a few weeks.  I loved seeing the body of Christ in action, as each family brought something new to our door, and cooed over our tiny boy.

But there is one woman, one cook in the church whom everyone earnestly prays the Lord would quicken her to deliver them a meal in hard times.  Her food is THAT good.

This is an homage to just such a woman.  Her cooking preceeded her.  I first heard about her from other young moms when they had their babies.  She delivered them food so delicious, they posted about it on Facebook.  It was social-media-worthy.  And sure enough, when we had our baby, she sweetly contacted us to ask if she could bring our family a little something to eat.   She said she had a special place in her heart for young moms.  How could I refuse?

She explained that she and her husband are a team.  She cooks the meals.  He delivers them.  So, a gentleman with kind eyes showed up at my door one night, laden with bags of food.  I showed him in, and chatted for a bit.  After admiring my baby, he bid us bon apetit, and showed himself out.  That’s when I turned to unpack the bags, and found:

A Menu.

Stapled onto a bag, framed by a colorful piece of scrapbook paper.

And what was on it was restaurant quality.  This wasn’t a cassarole.  This wasn’t a meal.  This wasn’t a dinner.  This was a FEAST.  This was 5 star dining in my jammies at home.  This was an expensive dining experience given for free.  This was LOVE itself.

I unpacked the tupperwares and packages, and we all stood around the table admiring the variety.  Two different salads.  Soup.  Appetizers.  An entree.  A crusty baguette.  And something sweet for dessert.

Oh.  My.  Word.

Through text message conversations, I thanked her like mad.  She said that it really was a joy for her, and offered a few more weekly meals.  Only crazy people turn down food that is literally BEAUTIFUL to eat.  So we looked forward to seeing her husband at his weekly deliveries.

What I expected were delicious meals.  And I was never disappointed.

But there was another benefit I started to experience, one that I wasn’t expecting.

It touched somewhere deep.

She honored us by giving exquisite food.  Instead of feeling like I had to swallow my pride to accept the charity of others, I felt honored.  I felt worthwhile.  I felt valuable to have such valuable food.

And I realized that this is the effect we have on others when we give them our best.  Along with our gift, we also give them dignity.  God gave humans this amazing ability to ascribe worth to each other.  If someone says we are important, we are.  I think it’s an extension of being made in His image.  If God says we are valuable, we are.  Apart from anything we can do to earn our wealth.

To give your best is a way to give honor and dignity to others.  When they are in need of your talent, you not only satisfy their need, but you also are saying, “You are worth my very best.  You are a joy to serve.”

What are you best at?

Then you have something to give.  Ask God how you can honor others with your very best.

4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with youra faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”                    Romans 12:4-8

Our dear woman at church assured me that it gives her so much joy to cook for families that need help at times.  She prays over her meals, writes menus, and coordinates deliveries around the crazy schedules of new mommies and babies.  It is her joy.  It is her talent.  It is her God-given gift.  And as such, mommies like myself feel honored.  In a season of life when nothing is guaranteed – sleep, showers, time to clean/run errands/make food – her meals bring us back to another time: a time before children, a time when our husbands were our boyfriends, we worked customer service jobs, and weekends were filled with the romance of nights eating out, and mornings sleeping in.

Posted by

Steph Lenox is a thirty-something wife/mother/writer. She writes to the mommy tribe, discovering that, in the end, it's the hard choices - and God's good grace - that feel way better than straight coffee and pastries and trash TV.

2 thoughts on “To Give Your Best

  1. I’ve been following your blog a little while now and cannot resist commenting any longer! I always come away from your words feeling encouraged and uplifted. Thank you for sharing.

    Congratulations on your newest little one! 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s