Sunday, September 20, 2009

Comfort Food

The phone rang. It was my visiting teaching companion.

"I'm ordering dinner to be delivered to your house. Is 6:00 ok?" I tried to convince her that we were fine (we really were), but she would have none of it. "What kind of pizza do you like?" When I told her, she asked what else we wanted. Again, I tried to let her know that a pizza was above and beyond.... Again, she just hushed me up and figured out the rest herself.

Nearly on the button, Mr. Pizza Man arrived with not only our favorite pizza, but breadsticks, salad, and brownies for each of us. Oh, yes, and the delish root beer that sends my kids over the moon.

As we ate the food that filled our home with wonderful smells of garlic, my children exclaimed, "I can't believe she would do this for us! She is so nice!"


Why did she do this?

Because she loves me. She knew I was under the weather, and this was her simple way to showing that she cared.

I really could have fed my family. I had leftovers in the fridge. This was not an issue of not being ABLE.

It was an issue of being loved.

What better comfort food is there, really, than that given from the heart?

Thanks, friend. Thank you for loving me.


Naismith said...

Here's the thing, though. This kind of thing just drives me BONKERS. How are those of us raised outside the church and/or lacking mind-reading gifts supposed to understand these complex rules, which clearly you and your friend understand and accept?

The number one criticism of me as RS president was that I failed to force help on people if they turned it down. I figure that people are grownups, and they can say whether they need help or not.

My view on this was informed by a debacle a few years earlier when a very faithful family nearly left the church in frustration because a pushy RS president sent in all kinds of help that the family REALLY did not want.

So when is it more loving to respect a no, and when to push? When is service more about gratifying the giver than actually helping the recipient.

Yes, we have the promptings of the Spirit to help. But still, I get the impression there is a whole nother language going on, and I don't speak it.

Jill said...

Sweet story. Sometimes we just have to insist on helping. Sounds like she knew that was the only way you would accept help :)

Reluctant Nomad said...

that's so nice. Lucky you to have such a friend.

Angie said...

This brings back many warm memories. Ward members shared pizza with us so many times during my difficult pregnancy last year.

Annette Lyon said...

That is one of the sweetest things ever. I had a friend do a similar thing once--but the delivery guy, ironically, wouldn't take her card from where she lived, and I ended up paying for it. I never did tell her, because it really was the thought that counted. I was so touched that she wanted to help me out from 2 1/2 hours away when she knew I was having a hard day. Talk about true friendship!

m_and_m said...

I would like to clarify something here. My friend was not pushy or unkind. I KNEW all along the way that she was doing this out of love. How could I not accept such a gesture, really? The only thing that would have kept me from rejecting this is pride, and frankly, I was too tired and too touched to let my pride win out this time. We would have all been the poorer had I rejected her effort. You should read the thank-you notes my children wrote. Such a sweet experience for us all.

In mulling over this, I think sometimes we can take the principles of welfare too far the other way. We think that we have to be so completely beyond the point of functioning to be able to accept help. We insist on doing so much alone, so as to prove...??? But how can there be service if there aren't people willing to accept it? Isn't some of having our hearts knit together about sharing experiences and serving and being served among ourselves? I believe it is. My relationship with this person was deepened by this experience. It also motivated me to do something similar for someone else, and I was so grateful that friend received my gesture of love willingly, even if she didn't 'need' it.

These experiences have reminded me that sometimes allowing someone to serve us is a great blessing. It can be HARD to be on the receiving end. But in the end, WHY? Why do we make it so hard?

I think in general, accepting service is something we often don't do as well as we should.

That said, no one should *force* someone to make that choice. (God doesn't FORCE us to accept His love, right?) Most of the time, though, I think people are just really trying to do their weak-mortal best to reach out in ways they think they can. Sometimes I think we make it harder for each other than we need to.
{end soap box}

Again, I didn't feel forced. I felt loved.


Ginny said...

awesome. i love the message behind this story...from both sides! i have been known to be guilty of the pride of not accepting help so as to prove that i can do it all (even though i am excruciatingly aware of the fact that i can't). it's been a powerful lesson for me to learn over and over again as i humble myself enough to allow others to serve me, even if in ways that i could have done myself.

thanks for sharing.