dear God, can my spiritual gift be butter?
i’m sort of joking, but i’m also sort of serious.
when it comes to expressing care and affection, i’m not always good with words. this is why i have a love-hate relationship with greeting cards. but i am pretty good at cooking and baking.
a hug and a sandwich might be one way of saying “i love you.”
a surprise batch of oatmeal cookies might mean “thanks for being such a trooper.”
a dairy- or egg- or corn- or coconut-free dessert could say “i listen, i remember and i care.”
food obviously can’t (or shouldn’t) replace words, but sometimes it can help words flow where they were previously stopped up.
i love making people good things to eat and watching them go from hungry to filled.
i discovered my dream job while watching a murder mystery. yes, i am queen of non sequiturs.
agatha christie’s novel “hickory dickory dock” takes place in a student hostel in 1930s london. when watching david suchet’s brilliant rendition of hercule poirot, christie’s famous belgian detective, in the bbc’s adaptation of the story, i was impressed by the homeyness of the hostel. the students sat down to dinner around a big dining room table every night with the housekeeper, whom they affectionately called “ma.” there was tea in the main gathering room of the house in the afternoon, plenty of books to choose from if you wanted to read, and comfy chairs and sofas to curl up in while you did.
of course people got murdered. that is not the point.
when i was in college i never lived away from home, so i have no idea what that feels like. i do know how much i appreciated having the comfort of my own bed, a quiet room, and healthy meals at regular times — or the assurance of leftovers if i was not there to partake initially.
and i thought, that is what i want to do someday.
i want to have a big house in a college town, within reasonable walking distance of campus. i want to rent out rooms to students with the assurance of a safe haven, a comfortable bed, wholesome food — a home while they are away from home. or, perhaps, the first “home” they’ve ever experienced. i want to have a big garden out back where students can poke their fingers in the soil and work out their frustrations or gather their inspirations as part of their room and board. i want to have family-style meals at a big long table accompanied by debate and laughter. i want to be a sympathetic listener or a shoulder to cry on when someone finds herself overwhelmed by life. i want to be a gentle beacon of hospitality that illuminates the love of God and the truth of the gospel. i want to be a witness of God’s mercy and grace through butter, brownies and plumped-up pillows. and a second-hand bookstore in the basement.
that’s my dream job. who knows if that’s practical, and who knows how God will use me and/or that desire.
but if you’re going to dream … make it something worthwhile.