Shattered Faith — December 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Share Your Table

by

I love to feed people. I am a proud product of the great Hospitality State and believe hospitality to be somewhat of a genetic quality. I got it from my mom and she got it from hers and so on and so forth. My great grandma always had a pot of coffee going and something sweet to counteract the bitter, black brew.

Growing up, my mom always made the best snacks for me and my friends. You couldn’t go just anywhere and enjoy the kind of buffet my mom set out on the table: brownies, chips, sandwiches and soda… what more could a pre-teen ask for? Who am I kidding? I still love the stuff. Even though a few of my more notorious friends would spill soda on the carpet, it was still a joy for her to host, offering her gifts of hospitality.

Cooking has become a huge part of my life; so too has feeding the people I love. It’s no longer enough for me to feed people pizza. Every person needs to have their own personally designed pie with freshly made Neapolitan-style dough in a kitchen that’s too small to keep up. We have a poster in our kitchen by artist Nikki McClure that says “Share Your Table” (see the full poster below). It is a testament to the kind of people we want to be.

Love looks like a lot of different things. Serving another person makes the “love” list in my book. Serving also happens to be part of my day job. There are people in this world that aren’t exactly my favorite, but I’ve found a freedom in serving the people who aren’t going to say thank you. I believe it to be one of the noblest occupations.

I love the fact that people always hang out in the kitchen. It’s cramped and gets bloody hot in the summertime; but it’s also cozy, and people know that good things usually come out of kitchens. There is nothing I love more than one of our rooms full of people eating, especially if it’s something I’ve worked hard to give them. In a sense you’re feeding them with more than food. You’re feeding them your history.

After all, eating is the great equalizer. Food is the most basic human need. What better way to enter life with the beloved of God than by feeding them, pulling up another chair and keeping their glasses full?

3 Comments

  • I live in a community house and we have a shared refrigerator. Which is a blessing because we usually have tons of food stocked and lots of friends over to share it with. But it does take a change in attitude when you invite guests over to a community house. Because now all your roommates are paying to fee all your guests too, and your paying to feed their guests.
    I’ve found that the whole house has to have some important discussions on generosity, fairness, and when its time to kick out the couch surfers.

  • As a second generation Italian immigrant, hospitality was definitely part of my culture growing up. No matter what you had in the fridge or pantry, if friends were coming over, you just threw out what you had and let the socializing begin. It wasn’t about the food but about the fellowship (although it seemed Mom could always make anything taste great…or maybe it wasn’t Mom??) And it always seemed like it was more than enough and we never went hungry because we shared our food with someone else…a little like the story of Jesus and His disciples feeding the crowds…like the little boy with the few fish and loaves of bread, if we just offer what we have, I believe God takes care of the rest.

    My wife is a wonderfull cook and my prayer is that we can make hospitality even more a way of life for our family.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    NPB

  • For years I have enjoyed cooking for my children and their friends. It’s always a joy to see them smile and enjoy what I have fixed. It may not always be nutritious, but a crowd pleaser. I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share those times with my children. I do miss those days. I’m so glad that Josh has inherited the GIFT of hospitality. To you my son, keep up the good work and make people smile. I’m proud of you always. Love you, mom

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