Dr. Wayne Baker welcomes guest columnist Kathy Macdonald, an expert in helping businesses shift direction to adapt to our ever-changing culture. This week, Kathy writes about the role of food in defining our lives. Enjoy all parts in this series via the links at the top of the page.
This is her fourth column …
With all of our focus on dishes we love this week, we can easily forget the greatest power packed into our foods: the ability to share them. For the world’s 2 billion Christians, that can mean salivating over the Daily Bread and forgetting the point of the petition: “Give us this day …”
My father has never let go of this truth. He’s 95 and lives in a senior center where each day breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided. It does not matter. Every Memorial Day he plants his garden. This year it was 16 tomato plants. The last time I checked, the average yield per tomato plant is about 10 pounds. I suspect his yield more.
My father has a tomato ministry. Somewhat like the Easter Bunny or perhaps a bit more like Santa, he gives them all away. They are given in ones and twos. This year out of the bag that hangs from the back of his wheelchair. He visits the sick in the rehab center of the senior center and leaves behind his round red lumps of love. He drops a few off at the nurses’ station to be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. He places them outside the doors of friends who may need a pick-me-up. He rolls from table to table in the dinning room handing them out.
The last few years, my husband and I have had to help with the planting and staking, but the rest he does himself. This is what he lives for. I get it. This is his work and this is his calling. He gives what he grows freely and with joy. I don’t know of many gardens that produce as many smiles as his does.
My next-door neighbor has what I refer to as her English Muffin Bread ministry. She must bake 50 loaves a year that she gives away to the sad, the ill, and the lonely … or to neighbors like me who just love it.
Tell us about someone you know who gives food away.
What do they grow or bake that shows their love.
And who benefits in that relationship? Giver or receiver?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.