I am sitting over my stove this morning stirring a big pot of red beans and rice. I am making them for a family I don’t know. Yes, I should be at work, getting ready for the looming holiday season. But I got an order yesterday that compelled me to cook, and cook a meal imbued with love.
I have a funny business. We make gift baskets. Many are business gifts, thanking clients and such. We also get intensely personal sometimes. Which I like. You are acutely aware of the passage of time with some clients, the yearly notes on their holiday baskets change: they have a daughter who is 5, their daughter is 7, their daughter is in grad school….I come to realize that I have been part of their holidays for 20 years. That is joyful and makes me happy.
Then there are the times we have to provide comfort. This is such a case. A young man with a bright future, full scholarship to college, was killed in gang related violence. My client called saying he wanted more than just a basket. Could we provide a meal? He knew he could call a restaurant but thought we would do a better job of putting it together. My heart ached for the loss. So much violence, it is just too much. Then I googled the address to see where they lived to calculate delivery. I saw their house. A clean ranch style, nice enough neighborhood. And I could feel the tragedy. A family no longer complete. I thought, “in that house they have lost a son, a brother, a loved one.” I felt tears on my cheeks. After the Oregon shootings and seeing the plight of refugees in Europe, I felt caved in. When does it stop?
Normally my staff would handle this, but I took this personally. I went out myself to pick up the food but as I walked the aisles of the market looking at the premade foods I thought, “they deserve something better than a roasted chicken from the market. They need food infused with love.” So I bought the makings for a dinner. I got an organic chicken, some beans and rice mix, brought it all home and got up this morning and began to cook. I poured all the love I could. I heard Aretha singing, “I love you and I love you,” as I put the chicken in the oven. I, who don’t usually pray, prayed over it. Hoping it would bring them some solace. I timed it so we could take it right to them with proper heating and storage instructions. (I used to cater , have my food safety certificate so there was no conflict for me. I know how to do this)
I felt so helpless on hearing the news, but this made me feel like I could do something. I don’t know them and will never meet them. But I hope this food brings them warmth, an edible hug from me.
We are all members of this human race located on planet earth. My hope goes out to all that we realize that and stop killing and start loving. We need to pour lots and lots of love and joy into this world.
This is an odd world I’ve created for myself over here at Fancifull. But I daily get to send out bombs of joy to the world, which are the only kind of bombs we need.
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