Preparing for Worship – Ashley Robinson, pastoral resident
My home has never smelled so good. I came home from a Monday night meeting last week to what felt like Thanksgiving as my friend had begun to prepare enchiladas for a Tuesday lunch feast. Last week, I was lucky to be able to host my new friends, Eddie and Macarena Aldape, who serve as CBF field personnel, in my home as they were passing through Dallas. I was thrilled when Eddie offered to cook for the residents, but a little confused when he began cooking the night before. I didn’t question it, though, because you do not question things that smell that good.
My home, which is usually full of one-sided conversations between my dog and me, was suddenly filled with pots and pans clattering, chopping, chicken shredding and actual real-life conversation. I am usually the one preparing the meal for guests, elbow deep in biscuit dough, so it was nice to sit back and watch the magic happen. As I made space for someone else in my kitchen, it suddenly became apparent that preparation for meals brings as much joy as the meal itself.
And then came time for the feasting. The residents and I gathered with Eddie around my humble second-hand table with a hodgepodge of chairs and ate like royalty. The silence with our first few bites was our way of giving the enchiladas a standing ovation. Our glances over our stuffed mouths confirmed that we all agreed that it was one of the best meals we had ever eaten.
We broke the silence with stories and laughter. There was more than enough food, and for a moment, we were able to rest and remember that we were enough. The love and friendship that lingered between us and around us was absolutely holy.
There’s something to be said here for preparation. For letting go and letting new friends into your space. For knowing that a moment between friends will be so special that you begin cooking an entire day before they arrive. For letting a community care for you as you have cared for them. For the kind of conversations that only happen over pots of steaming food. For the familiar tunes that hug our souls as we get ready to welcome guests. May we all notice today that, perhaps, there are just as many holy moments in the preparing as in the feasting.