This being summer in St. Louis meant that sometimes the labyrinth was not an ideal place. Walking the paving stones that make up the spiraling design in summer can be like walking on a griddle.
But, I didn’t just want to focus, I wanted my friend to feel loved and cared for. What to do?
Cook for her.
That was what my grandmother would do. In her world view, there wasn’t a situation in the world that couldn’t be improved with food. Happy? Fresh blackberries. Bad day? Look, a cookie! Prayer and feeding people. They were her ways of making the world a better place. An example I could follow.
In the kitchen, I chopped zucchini, peeled carrots, and diced onions. While I worked, I prayed for comfort for my friend and her family. I prayed for compassion and wisdom for her doctor, the nurses and her friends. Soon I had a vegetarian vegetable soup ready to deliver. That was two weeks ago. This past week it was black bean salad. This week it will be carrot soup seasoned with nutmeg.
I also found two cookbooks for cancer diet recipes by Rebecca Katz – and . Along with her recipes, Katz explains which nutrients in the various ingredients promote blood cell growth, help stimulate appetite and are just easy on a wonky stomach.
How is this working? My friend has lost weight and she’s tired a lot, but I think she feels loved. I call her and we discuss the cookbooks and recipes. Food gives us a ready-made topic of discussion that isn’t cancer. She gets to be something more than just a patient. Then I cook and pray. When I make the delivery, I get to visit with her and her family again. Sometimes my husband and son are the couriers which gives them an excuse to connect, too.
Know someone who is fighting an illness? Or has just had a really bad week? Food can be prayerful. It is all in the loving hands and the heavenward thoughts involved in the preparation.
Reaching Up and Out
When I feel that I cannot truly help,
Please help me reach up to You.
Lend me Your strength
so that I can see
that although I cannot fix
the problem itself
there are a hundred other things
that I can do
that will bring comfort
that will show love
that will bring a hint
of You into her day.
Please help me reach up to You,
so that I may reach out in love.