July 10, 2018
Before I left work in March medical leave, somebody wiser than I (KATHERINE) said, “Let us take care of you. Food, visits – don’t be one of those folks who says ‘I’m ok, don’t worry about me.’ ”
That was a tall order. But I thought about my family. Who would take care of them? We’ve been down the extended illness road before, and it’s not easy.
So I said “Thank you. Maybe a meal?”
Three months later, we are still eating (and I am healthy). Lasagna, good homemade bread, Marwen’s miraculous banana bread. There’s actually something in the workroom freezer that Kay kept forgetting to bring to me and that I now keep forgetting to take home.
The husband chuckled when I said food would be coming. “You’ve got your buddies snowed,” he said. “YOU don’t do the cooking around here.”
Which is true. But when he was sick and I was running around like a chicken, this miracle ziti showed up from Kay, and the kids and I ate it while sitting on the floor in the living room, discussing Troy’s cancer.
We still call it “that ziti.” And we needed that time together, on the living room floor, just the kids and me, to regroup and to think and to cry and pray.
This time, when I was sick, Kay visited us two days after I was out of the hospital. She had bags and bags of everything – meatloaf, veggies, veggie meatloaf, high-protein casseroles, bread, cake – from herself and Addison and several other kind church members.
And then Peg came, with a stack of super spicy treats from the Dumpling Lady’s food truck.
And then Diane came, with Tupperware filled with fresh green beans (FRESH, as in she snapped those beans herself), and casserole, cole slaw and cake, from herself and from Jane.
The day after my second surgery, Troy had to run to Greensboro to get Alex from college. He also had to run to get medicine. He also had to pick Mack up from work. He had to have been tired of running around.
When he called and said “What do you want to eat?” I said “Mack put a lasagna into the oven before she left. There’s salad here. And cake. Just come home.”
I resisted the urge to say “see?”
It occurs to me that this is how God is, showing up, quietly sometimes, but there, taking care of you, a force that lets you know “it’s OK. You are fed, in more ways than one.” Stop worrying. Your family is cared for. That’s how God is, and that precludes anything that society can throw at us. It’s a vision of his kingdom here on earth, of being community, of taking care of each other, of bearing each other’s burdens, of simply sitting and being with each other. How uncommon is that these days, getting into a car and taking our lives into our hands on 177, spending an hour with someone, when we are perfectly happy to sit behind screens and type our thoughts and prayers.
But these small acts made big differences. And it’s simply what folks around here at First Presbyterian do.
Just come home, and sit, and be fed, and be. This is God, always.
Dartinia Hull, Communications Manager