KINDNESS THROUGH MEAL TRAINS
When I think about the Meal Trains® my church normally does, I think of new babies, people who’ve had surgery, those with a loved one in the hospital, and families who experienced a loss. Meal Trains typically last for one to four weeks.
Most people are probably ready to be up and at normal life again by the time the Meal Train ends, but I hadn’t ever thought about those who aren’t or those who never received a Meal Train for their chronic illness, mental illness, or chronic pain.
I realized this as the sign-up for Barb, whose husband had a life-altering stroke, popped up in my email. I looked at the sheet, half-filled for two weeks, and thought, Why are we only having people sign up for two weeks of meals? Tom will likely be in a rehab facility for a few months and in a hard transition at home for several more months after that.
I immediately signed up to bring a meal. But the thought of Barb and Tom needing additional help stuck with me as I scrolled through Facebook, where I noticed a few things:
- A picture of Kathy, newly widowed, popped up. I noticed her hands were bent and crooked from severe arthritis and I wondered, Does it hurt to cut up food and open cans on cold, damp days? Who is bringing her a meal on those days?
- I noticed a post from Carrie and thought of her family on the days when her depression flares. Is it overwhelming for her to feed that beautiful family when she’s feeling down? How much more does her husband need to do to care for the family? Would it help if I dropped off a meal so he could focus on Carrie’s needs?
- I noticed a friend’s post asking for prayer, because her child was in ER with another diabetic emergency, and I wondered, Who is bringing a meal to them tonight, or do we not think to start a Meal Train because her child was hospitalized for just one day? Does my friend come home from an overwhelming experience and still need to figure out how to feed her family?
- Then I noticed Jane commenting about how sorry she was that she couldn’t make it to another friend’s event. Is it because of her chronic illness? How many spoons is it costing her to make a meal today?
I realized that I am surrounded by people who need meals, who need help, who are overwhelmed by illness or pain or loss or caregiving, who just need a bit of kindness.
MEAL TRAINS HELP SHOW THE KINDNESS OF JESUS
Making a meal doesn’t cost me much in time, money, or effort, I just prepare double the amount I’m already making for my own family, or pull something out of the freezer, add paper plates, plastic silverware, and napkins, so clean up is easy, and drop it off at the designated time. But that little bit of kindness is a genuine gift to someone in need. It’s the love of Christ poured out for a weary brother or sister.
Meal Train® is a great resource that makes “organized meal giving around significant life events” smooth and easy.
And if you don’t live close enough to drop off a meal in person, Meal Train offers an option to order food from a local restaurant and have it delivered.
In addition to great free printables, Meal Train offers:
- an interactive online calendar
- digital gift cards for Grubhub, DoorDash, restaurants, and more
- reminder emails
- a place to list meal preferences and allergies
- easy invitations through email, Facebook, Twitter, and more
Questions For Reflection
1. Who could you bless with a little bit of kindness today?
2. How can you show the love of Jesus to someone this week?
3. What is the nicest act of kindness someone has shown you? What made it so memorable? Consider sending a card, email, or text to let them know just how much it meant to you.
Volunteer Pinterest Coordinator
Katie is a wife, mother, and homemaker. Chronic illness and mental illness impact her daily life as she has suffered from chronic migraines with aura and anxiety since she was a child. She is also a mother to a child with sensory issues and anxiety. Through all of that, Katie finds joy and purpose in studying God’s Word, spending time with and caring for her family, baking and cooking whatever she can, spending time in God’s beautiful creation, and trying new crafts and hobbies. Pinterest is one of Katie's passions and a go-to source for inspiration, Biblical encouragement, and fun family ideas.
30 Creative Ways
Pause. Seek. Notice.
Allow yourself to be inconvenienced by the will of God. Then take the first intentional step forward and see what He will do.