Have you ever been sick, had a baby, or lost a loved one? Most of us have experienced at least one of these significant life events. The daily essentials like sleeping, bathing, and eating often go out the window and in comes survival mode. When the tables are turned and a loved one is enduring a hard time, sometimes the best way to serve them is by delivering a meal.
Jesus is our ultimate example of servanthood. In His time on earth, He was intimately involved in meeting the physical needs of those around Him. From feeding the five thousand to the Last Supper, He used meals as a tool to communicate His generous love. But more than providing sustenance for our bodies, He provides hope for our souls.
In Luke 24, Jesus was walking with the Eleven after the resurrection but they didn’t know it was Him. As He prepared a meal, something changed. His own friends recognized Him through this meal.
“He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him.” (Luke 24:30-31 MSG)
When we show up with a meal, our friends and family see Jesus in us. A heart of service is truly the heart of God.
I’ve been both the giver and recipient of a meal delivery on a few occasions and I would like to share some tips I’ve learned throughout my experiences to help make the visit more valuable for everyone involved.
Consider allergies and preferences. Nowadays many people and/or families practice a certain style of eating (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, clean, etc.) Ask before you bring something. If you really want to bless them, bless them with something that meets them exactly where they are.
Use disposable containers. This makes for less clutter for the recipient and fewer dishes which is always a win. A great tip I learned from a friend is to write any cook temperatures and times right on the top in permanent marker.
Remember the extras. A beverage, dessert, or better yet both. It can be as simple as a bottle of lemonade and a bar of chocolate.
Make it about them. Try as hard as you can to ask them questions and steer everything back to them. Ask about their baby, their surgery, or their loved one. Y'all, it's not about you. Not in this moment. You are there to love and support them.
Be courteous. Show up on time and if you have children, try to keep them at home. The last thing anyone wants is another mess, another germ, or another thing to take care of. I know that sounds harsh but the reality is that if there is a reason to help, we shouldn’t be adding to the stress.
Keep it short. When you drop off, don’t overstay. Say hello, show what you brought, point out any special instructions, ask how they are doing, and then split. I'd say 10 minutes tops.
Don't let distance stop you. There are great things called gift cards and meal deliveries that make serving someone a meal from afar much easier. My personal go-to is Jimmy Johns. Their delivery fee is minimal and they are usually close by and well liked.
Do something. Time is a limited resource. Sometimes a four-course meal planned three weeks in advance isn't possible, nor is it what is needed. Don’t let that hinder you from still showing up for them. Many grocery stores now offer ready to eat items right in their cafe. Think rotisserie chicken, bagged salad, and loaf of bread. And easier still, Chick-fil-A. Any simple gesture is thoughtful and provides nourishment.
Don't do everything. You can't do it all. Know your limits. Some seasons are busier than others with sickness or a baby boom. It is ok if you can't help your best friend or even acquaintance every time. Take every opportunity before the Lord and genuinely ask Him if this is something you can do. He will open doors of ideas and time frames or show you that your family and season takes priority. That's ok. Feel no shame in this.
Bringing a meal does more than provide a physical need- it brings hope. Let’s be women who serve our friends, family, and community well.
About Taylor Angulo
Taylor is a Minnesota native relocated to North Dallas. A few of her favorite titles are wife, mom, sister and friend. She and her husband Jonathan have two daughters, Lennon and Mayer (musical references intended). She is a graphic designer by trade but spends most her days running to Target and preschool drop-off with an iced coffee in hand. She’s working on being brave and stepping into the fullness of life as a child of God.