Bringing meals is common after the birth of a baby or even after a death in a family. But, take a minute and consider, when else might the provision of a meal be a true blessing?
A family in our church recently experienced an unexpected, long-term hospital stay. While they had lots of family in the area, and their children were all grown--this was certainly a time when bringing meals was appropriate.
Caring for an ill family member can be very consuming, and meals are generally not a priority. This was one need that others could meet. For me, as a SAHM, it was a perfect ministry and I was thankful for the opportunity!
In this case, the meal would be eaten at the hospital so:
- The meal must be in all disposable containers. There should be nothing to wash or feel the need to return.
- Everything necessary for eating the meal must be included. A cooled bottle of water, a plate, napkin, plastic ware, and even condiments if needed.
- This is a single-serve meal. Leftovers will be difficult to keep although I did include a few snack items (like chips that come in a can allowing them to easily be kept for future snacks).
- The food must be ready to eat when delivered, meaning no heating up or refrigeration required.
- Because I wanted my children to be involved, I invited them to make cards for the family to be included.
- Writing out the menu is a nice touch. This can easily be included on a tag or in a card.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables might be refreshing, especially if they've been eating in cafeteria or take-out. For one meal I included a caesar salad with the dressing, Parmesan cheese, and croûtons all separate to keep it fresh.
- Since I was thinking of my meal as a gift, I wrapped it up in a gift bag, which also made for easy transport!
Coordinating drop off will be important and will vary in each situation. Offering Hospitality has previously posted some helpful tips for organizing meals.
This is the first time I've been involved in bringing meals in this type of situation; however, it got me thinking! I will certainly remember this for the future and be on the look out for unique opportunities to offer hospitality!
When else might providing a meal be a blessing?
Amy H. offered hospitality to college students for over 10 years as the wife of a collegiate minister. Today her ministry focuses on her husband (who now coordinates campus ministers in New England), three children (ages 2, 5, and 7), and friends both new and old.