Beyond the Casserole? Say what?

If you are a part of a faith community take a minute to think of what happens when a person from your congregation gets sick. Most often, we add them to some sort of prayer chain and if they will be enduring some type of treatment we offer to bring a meal or two, namely the casserole. Now I love a good casserole, but you won’t find many of them on the top 10 healthiest foods list. Therefore the help being offered, while well meaning, isn’t necessarily helping anyone on the road to wellness.

What if we did it differently? Not just with food, but with the way we support those who are sick in our communities. What if rather than relying on the old standby of prayer chains and casseroles we supported our people with healthy choices and specific prayer? I can’t begin to tell you how much I dislike the statement ‘God’s will be done’. I heard it a million times when people heard I had Stage IV cancer. It began to sound like a death sentence, often delivered in the somber tone that accompanies that foreboding music you see on tv.

Rick Warren has brought health and fitness into Saddleback Church with the Daniel Plan. I’m suggesting something similar, however it is for those who are already sick among us.

I radically changed my diet when going through treatment which meant that people in my church could not simply drop off a casserole at my house. Guess what they did instead? They purchased a small freezer for us so that we could stock it with food that I was eating. It was great.

I did other things to lead the way as well. I would ask for people to gather at my house and pray before big tests or treatment days. The concerns were very specific and we would go around the circle and pray. It was incredibly powerful. When we needed drivers for the 3 hour round trip to radiation we circulated a clip board and had people sign up.

People want to help, but sometime they need more direction so that the patient and the community both win. I am looking forward to talking with you more about going beyond the casserole.


  • Church