When you enter a restaurant where food is not served on disposable containers, the greeting by the hostess/host, includes the following words or variations of them: “Welcome to name of restaurant. How many?” And if in that moment, there are not other customers waiting or there is seating adequate for you but not for them, the host/hostess picks up a menu or menus, invites you to follow her/him, and leads you to a table (or booth). After you are seated, you usually hear, “ will be your server today.” Within several minutes, a smiling person shows up and introduces him/herself, asks if you are ready to order or need some more time, and/or may state the special(s). Also, the server may ask “Can I start you with something?” and typically, unless you are at a food truck or something similar, the servers are not serving food they prepared.
We are all servers. That was not a misprint. We are all servers in that we offer “food” to others when we interact with them; however, unlike the servers in most restaurants, in our daily interpersonal interactions, we have a choice to offer “food” we have prepared or what He has prepared. “What I have prepared?” Yes. God and life give us ingredients for the “food’ we prepare through diverse sources: our births, families of origin, circumstances, socioeconomic status, education, race, ethnicity, struggles, to name a few. We also access ingredients through our personal choices and the choices of others, and we prepare “food” in the “kitchens” of our hearts and minds and offer it to others through our words, our actions, as well as our silence and inaction.
The quality of our food may vary. For example, an offered meal may be heavy in empty calories (aka promises we have no intention of keeping and fake compliments) and light in nutrients. At other times, our food is tainted with bitterness and resentment because we chose not to forgive. It may also have the spices of envy and distrust. Or, when seasoned by quality time in His Word and in His presence, the food we offer can encourage, inspire, uplift.
The food He has prepared however, is consistently of the highest quality: His Word and promises, salvation, love which endures forever, compassions which never fail, hope, faith, grace that abounds, and a plan for good and not for evil, among others. And He invites all to come and eat freely. Sometimes He even prepares a table of food for us in the presence of our enemies. The more we eat and digest the food He has prepared, the better we become at serving His food to others. Server, what is on your menu this week?