It had been months since we’d spoken. No ill wishes or big falling out, nothing dramatic at all, just a quieted text thread and a pandemic ending any get-togethers. Then one day, she called. Not even texted, she straight called me on the actual phone. She said, “I’m dropping off a box on your porch! Be there soon.”
I’d just had my fourth baby. My other three kids were distance learning. I was still on maternity leave, covered in days of spit-up and sweat, the hormones still coursing through my frazzled body and brain. I’d mentioned somewhere online that the dishes and snack requests in my kitchen were never-ending and how it would be nice to have a break from the constant asks for and remnants of food.
My friend saw that mention online and showed up on my doorstep with snacks. So. Many. Amazing. Snacks. She brought fruit snacks and cheesy crackers, Pop-Tarts and mug cake mix. She also brought several prepared meals, complete with desserts, so all I had to do was pop them in the oven. She included little fun surprises and treats that she knew would bring each of us joy and save me at least a week of food prep.
That box of snacks and food was like manna.
Not only did it save me time in planning a week of meals and snacks, it saved me ordering them from the grocery store, driving for pick up, bringing them home and putting them away. Her gift removed a huge task from my brain and to-do list. It brought us all such joy, the fun of having new-to-us items (I mean, she really brought the good stuff!), and most of all, it gave me a major jolt of love.
Are you familiar with the five love languages? The idea is that each of us is wired to both give and receive love in several specific ways, with one way usually being the most meaningful to us. The five languages are quality time, acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation, and physical touch. Depending on the recipient, each of these acts can convey love. It’s a helpful lens through which to view the ways we can offer love, asking “How can I best minister to their individual, handcrafted, made-by-God heart?”
Most adults and kids gravitate toward a certain language. In our home, we have two quality time loving hearts, a physical touch seeker, and an acts of service lover. My language is gifts, though my husband likes to say that my love language is actually “being thought of.” Basically if someone does something, anything from any of those five languages, without prompting from me, it feels to me that they were thinking of me and that I mattered enough for them to act on those thoughts.
When my friend dropped that box of snacks off at my door, she loudly declared my love language. She saw my post, took it to heart, shopped with me in mind, and delivered a box of love. She spoke care through the ministry of snacks.
Wouldn’t it be a gift to the world if we truly lived like that? Reaching out whenever our heart is nudged in the direction of a friend. Sending a text or card. Offering up words of heartfelt prayer. Dropping off a few basic groceries or a fancy coffee. Picking up the actual telephone and calling them. Going over for a (socially distant/masked/outdoor) visit. Helping with the kids or laundry. It doesn’t take much, really, to let people know that they are being thought of and cared for. It doesn’t take mountain-moving acts to speak love languages and to act on them in ways both big and small.
All of these acts scream love, no matter what love language the recipient speaks. What could it look like for you to love your neighbor in a “being thought of” kind of way? I assure you, this kind of love is a ministry in and of itself. When God calls us to love our neighbor, small acts of love count too.
2020 brought a lot of change and challenge. May this still very new year bring ministry, hope, peace, joy, and great acts of love in all forms.Leave a Comment