Soul Food

One of the things I am called to do is feed people.

I do a little of this at home, with my family, although as the kids have grown up and as life has gotten busier, I rely on others to feed us most of the time. I do more of this at church as the presider at the Eucharist. God gives us spiritual food and I hand it out at the altar rail. And I do even more feeding as someone who journeys with others.

In that journeying, I often do not know when I am feeding people. I hope that they feel fed during worship, during conversations or classes; I hope my sermons feed some people some of the time. But I often don't know. Which is fine. If I got into keeping some kind of score about it, I'd be in trouble.

I have to eat, too, and so I am grateful to all those who feed me in so many ways. Last Sunday I went to St Lydia's, a "dinner church" in Manhattan. At St Lydia's people are fed literally (dinner) and spiritually (Eucharist) and they feed one another in sharing their experiences of awe and wonder and God's presence in light of the reading and short homily. I came away from the experience fed in every way and with lots of leftovers: food for thought.

When two are three are gathered, God is there. Bidden or unbidden, God is there. It is God who feeds us what we need, always; our job is to help with the preparing and the setting up and the simmering and the giving out; the decorating and dreaming and storytelling and the support and just being part of the two or three.

It's a risk, putting oneself out there to be with and for others in hopes that they will be fed. And sometimes it can be discouraging and one wonders if all one's work IS feeding anyone. But we do it because we are called to feed one another. Pretty much all of us have this calling, and all of us live it out in ways we don't even know about. So we just keep putting out what food we can gather and prepare, because we know people are hungry.