Turkey and Toilet Paper
Café Menu for Thursday, June 5, 2014
Today’s Special is: Serving the Least of These
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Hannah Walker
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27 NIV
A few weeks ago we lost a dear friend. At the young age of 37, he was gone, leaving behind a wife and an autistic daughter. When someone is a Christian, we don’t have to grieve for him when he leaves this life. I cried, not for the dead, but for the living left behind. I couldn’t imagine having to figure out life without my husband and the father of my child.
I wanted to do something, anything to help. I knew that there would be a flood of people visiting them. My fear was that their little girl (who I knew to be very particular about food) would be forgotten, so we called and got a list of her favorite foods: sliced turkey, butter bread, microwavable fries, and Coke. Easy enough, plus I didn’t have to cook anything. I loaded up my van with food, paper plates, paper towels, trash bags, plastic utensils, and toilet paper. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was my way of showing love.
Pure Christian love is selfless.
John 13:35 says that Christians are known by their love for each other. James takes it one step further. “Pure and faultless” love is when love is given with nothing to gain in return. The best example of this is when we love widows and orphans.
In that time period, widows and orphans had no means of survival. Men were the breadwinners. There was no other option. If a husband died, the widow’s only hope was to remarry. To love them was to love selflessly, for they had absolutely nothing to give in return.
We, as Christians, are to show our love, not just to those who can benefit us but also to those who are unable to help anyone. We will be known by our love to those who have had their hopes and dreams shattered.
Practical ways we can serve to show our love:
Start by thinking, “What would I want from my friends if my husband died today?”
1. Take food. Everyone knows you take food when someone passes away. Just make sure it’s food everyone in the house wants to eat (not everyone likes casserole), and that it’s in a container that can be thrown away. There’s enough going on without having to remember what dish to return to what person.
2. Take paper products. The last thing you want to worry about with people constantly visiting is having enough toilet paper. And when all those people have finally gone, you don’t want to be up all night washing dishes.
3. Help with paperwork/finances. When you’re grief-stricken, you’re not exactly in the best frame of mind to fill out unforeseen paperwork and answer financial questions. Someone not so close to the situation may be just what you need.
4. Don’t stop calling. Initially the phone will ring constantly. Then, slowly but surely, the phone calls stop coming. Don’t forget about them! Sometimes it’s the silence that’s most painful.
Lord, open our eyes to those who are hurting. Teach us to love selflessly. Thank You for giving us the ultimate example of selfless love in Your death on the cross. May our love for others exemplify Christlikeness so clearly that others come to know You. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
© 2014 by Hannah Walker. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 05 June 2014.