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Food on Fridays with Ann
When a family faces the loss of a loved one, friends show up at the house holding platters of cold cuts and crock pots full of meatballs. People bring coffee and bagels and donuts, chips and pulled pork and ham and potatoes and rolls.
What can we do to console our dearest friends whose fragile souls heave with the howl of grief?
We feel helpless. We try to love and serve them as our own shredded hearts gush tears.
Someone comes up the steps holding a container of soup and cornbread. “I wish I could do more,” she says.
“We all do,” someone else responds, and then we push the bowls of trail mix and plates of cheese cubes to the side to make room.
The older brother and his friends from school come through and load their plates with cookies and donuts and slices of salami and piles of chips and then return to a back bedroom. The sister comes through and grabs a bottle of water. Little brother rushes in, “Where are the Sprites?”
“Down here,” I point.
He grabs a can—”Thanks!”—and runs off.
Later, the family will ladle soup into bowls and serve themselves squares of cornbread. It feels so small, so insignificant, to offer nothing more than a bowl of soup or a decanter of coffee or a box of Dr. Pepper, but it is something tangible…a small, good thing.
The lonely baker from Raymond Carver’s story, upon realizing their loss, served two grieving parents fresh baked rolls, straight from the oven, as they sat together in his bakery kitchen.
You probably need to eat something,” the baker said. “I hope you’ll eat some of my hot rolls. You have to eat and keep going. Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this,” he said.
Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this. We know this, so we bring rolls. But all the rolls in the world cannot possibly fill this gaping hole, and we know that, too. The only thing that fills the gasping heart is the Bread of Life, broken for us.
We continue to offer warm rolls and chicken noodle soup, and we pray. And on this day, Good Friday, all over the world, Christians remember the suffering Savior and fall to the foot of the cross in worship.
And we cling to the deep, nourishing hope of Resurrection.
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Photos by Ann Kroeker. “Pin” these images in a way that links back to this particular page, giving proper credit.
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