Take, Eat, in Remembrance….

The past few weeks have seen me selling a bizarre amount of natural body care goodies from my kitchen; primarily in the form of coconut oil blended with various essential oils. It’s lovely stuff really, though I didn’t expect such a fantastic response! It really is a whole story in itself, but for now the point is that I’ve had a steady stream of strangers showing up at my kitchen door. Over a thirty-second interaction, someone knocks, I ask her name, she hands me cash, I hand her oil, and the deal ends with everyone well pleased.

Two nights ago, upon hearing a knock at my kitchen door, I just assumed it was customer. Feeling especially brave (Glimpse: I’m actually quite introverted and have to work up the breath and strength each time I hear a knock or even the phone!), I opened the door and exclaimed, “Come in, come in! What’s your name? How many jars did you order?”

Standing in my kitchen was a girl. She couldn’t have been more than fifteen years. Staring at me with wide-eyed confusion, she stammered, “It’s cold out there!”as  I waited for her to tell me what oil she was purchasing.

“I’m not here for oil. I’m collecting bottles for my parents so my family can get some food.”

We stepped back on the deck and found a bag of bottles. Standing in the cold (-25 that night, snowing), I paused and asked, “So…you’re collecting bottles…for food? Is it just you with your folks?”

“Oh no,” she replied, “There’s me and my younger brother and sister and the really little one and the two big big ones and…”. I lost track.

“Come on back in,” I said. “Let’s find you some good stuff; some stuff that you might enjoy, which is nourishing too.”

Jeremiah watched as we shared oranges, a new brick of cheese, and a banana loaf. The girl accepted; honestly and without expectation or awkwardness. We then sent her off into the snow, forgetting to ask her name or address or details, but with an invitation to come again whenever the need might arise.

Was that girl really collecting bottles for her family? I think so.
Could it all have been a scam? Sure, of course, and…so what?

Standing in my warm, small, cluttered kitchen, I drew Jeremiah near.

“Did you hear what that girl said? Her family needed food. Her Mama and Papa don’t have enough for all their kids.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Well, maybe because they don’t have enough money. Maybe because they made bad choices. Maybe because they are sick or something difficult happened. Whatever the reason, they needed food and showed up at our door. And what’s the best thing we can do with our best food?”
“Share it!” he exclaimed.
“Yes sir! When God brings someone into our path, we get to help and that is a very good thing and makes mama so so happy.”

That evening, we remembered that family as we enjoyed our warm supper. In the days following, I have often thought of that girl and wondered. I hope she is warm. I hope she is not carrying too much upon her young shoulders. I hope, if need be, she returns to my little kitchen as I blend lavender oil and burn eucalyptus.

I really don’t care if it’s a sham or a trick or a silly joke, for how much more blessed to give even more than what is needed, then to withhold, just in case?

The gifts of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.

5 Responses to “Take, Eat, in Remembrance….”
  1. Marissa says:

    “I really don’t care if it’s a sham or a trick or a silly joke, for how much more blessed to give even more than what is needed, then to withhold, just in case?” That is the posture that we always desire, though so often it goes counter to what most would say. To give generously, wholehearted with no strings attached trusting that God who sees and knows, will in His wisdom, bless both who give and receive.

  2. How bizarre. But what a great teaching moment for your kids!

  3. Audrey says:

    Yes, that is the posture we always take too- give without asking. If she comes again let me know and I will gather for her family too. This was beautiful and lovely to hear:)

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