by Cathy Baker

You are loved. 

It’s the whisper that arose from the meals, texts, flowers, and calls I received last week after my outpatient surgery. 

The meal ministry, in particular, revealed preconceived notions buried deep beneath my own insecurities. When Carolyn, a longtime friend and former life group leader, asked if I needed meals after surgery I gave my standard answer: “That’s so sweet, but I think we’ll be fine.” When she came back with, “Someone in the group really wants to bring you a meal,” it felt strange to decline — almost as if I would be cheating someone else out of a blessing. The next thing I knew, Carolyn emailed our entire former life group in a stealth-like manner and surprised me with a week’s worth of unbelievable meals.

After several days of being a blessed recipient of this ministry, certain truths became clear:

1. You don’t have to be a chef to provide a meal. (Preconceived notion #1) Some brought home cooked meals, others brought part home cooked and part purchased meals, and others brought an entire purchased meal. Every meal was a gift! You are loved.

2. The meal is a blessing but seeing the friend who brings it is the bonus. I looked forward to seeing them as much as the meal, and that’s saying something! You are loved.

3. The act of providing a meal is so much more than food. As we scooped chicken and other delights onto our plates it was hard to deny the time, money, and energy spent for our enjoyment. You are loved.

4. I need to learn how to embrace the receiving end of giving as much as the doing. Perhaps the reason I felt I might be cheating someone out of a blessing if I declined is because that’s exactly what would’ve happened. Every person who brought a meal made us feel like it was their pleasure. You are loved. 

Sometimes love comes in expected ways {wedding bands, hugs when seeing loved ones, a kiss as as your spouse heads out the door, etc.} 

But when love comes in unexpected ways? 

The whisper You are loved 
delves deep, plunging below all preconceived notions, releasing dormant joy to bubble upwards.

True ministry, one done purely out of love for another, is life changing. 

How about you? Has there been a particular way someone has ministered to you that left an indelible mark on your life? 

Thank you, Sandra!

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25