Guest Post – Megan: {When A Casserole Is Enough}

hands holding strawberries

I can recall moving to the South, and immediately noticing that casseroles were a staple here.  But it was not until the birth of our first child that it became apparent how valuable a baked dish of something could be.  The casseroles we were brought following the birth of our first-born were not appreciated only for their dietary provision.  But to a weary first-time Mom, for their communication of love and support.

Megan Hill recently wrote an article on her blog about the value of food delivered in time of need.  Megan is a pastor’s wife, who has had many opportunities to carefully coordinate and prepare meals for others.  I asked Megan if I could borrow her article, as I believe she summarizes beautifully how a community of women can serve one another.

Even through casseroles.

megan

 

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I have made some casseroles for people. I’ve assembled dozens of lasagnas. I’ve made chicken spaghetti and chicken enchiladas and chicken with broccoli, baking them in countless disposable pans. I’ve simmered pots and pots of chili, too, and purchased enough salad-in-a-bag to feed several colonies of rabbits. Oh, I have made some casseroles.

And then I’ve driven them to the homes of church people in need, walked my dishes to their kitchen counters, chatted for a few minutes, and left. Sometimes I’ve cried all the way home.

The casseroles for new moms are great. Everyone is happy, lasagna is just what they need, and I get to hold a newborn for a minute or two. But it’s the other homes that afterwards leave me shaking over my steering wheel with grief and inadequacy.

Chicken Taco Casserole

A casserole, baked until bubbly, seems like such a small offering in a home where someone is lying in the bedroom, fighting that last enemy, death. Cheese and noodles in a foil pan—so flimsy in a place where a child is chronically ill, where a family has been deserted by a sin-craving father, or where cancer is every moment growing under a woman’s skin.

Waving chicken-and-rice in the face of death seems pointless.

But—as my husband so kindly reminds me—it’s not.

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For one thing, people need to eat. And, if some of them have no appetite, it’s a sure bet there are cousins or neighbors or friends—people a few steps removed from the struggle—who will wander into the kitchen wanting a meal at some point. My nine-by-thirteen may not meet all the needs in the home, but it meets one.

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Food is also fellowship. The breaking of bread together (both sacramental and ordinary) was one of the marks of the first century church, and it is still important for the Body today. Even if I have to leave my dish at the door, I have (as I tell my children) “baked the love in it.” My recipe, my time, my hands mixing and seasoning and assembling, are a bit of fellowship with me, delivered. And as I head home, often to eat the second batch with my own family, we share fellowship. Two families, tasting the same food at the same time: thinking of, praying for, and growing in love together as we eat.

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And, perhaps most importantly, the inadequacy of a casserole reminds me of the adequacy of my Lord. Even if I could do more than bring a casserole to seriously suffering people—if I could move in, do all the laundry, mop all the floors, play with children, and organize the medications, even if I could meet every human need in these homes—it wouldn’t even begin to solve the problem.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Only Christ, drawing near by His Spirit, can mend broken hearts and broken bodies. Only Christ can bring eternal hope to the downcast and eternal life to the dying.

It is perhaps God’s kindness to me that the most I can do is something that fits in a pan.

That way, I’m not tempted to think for one minute that my efforts are enough. Instead, the meager mouthfuls I create point to Him who is the Bread of Life. And the one who tastes of Him will never be hungry.  A casserole is not enough. He always is.

So, I set my oven—yet again—to 350.

And while it warms, I pray.

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All recipes in this post are courtesy of Six Sisters, a group of {yes, 6!} sisters who compile affordable and simple meals.  Please hover on any of the recipes and add them to your own Pin boards.  And visit Six Sisters at their site, here.  Or if you prefer, you can find them on Pinterest. 

By way of reminder, all images on this blog {minus those of our children} are now Pin-accessible.  By clicking on an image, you are able to Pin any article to your own Pin boards.

Finally, here is a link to 25 Easy Casserole Recipes – inspiration for the next time your kitchen is needed.

Enjoy serving others, in love!

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Guest Post – Megan: {When A Casserole Is Enough}

  1. A casserole is always enough and very welcome in a time of need!:) Love this line:
    “It is perhaps God’s kindness to me that the most I can do is something that fits in a pan.”

  2. Love this reminder. It sometimes feels not enough to make a family a meal and yet, it is always such a blessing, the simple act of caring for a family. Good post!

  3. I agree…..food gifts are sometimes the most appreciated. In challenging times we tend to neglect ourselves and the basics that we need while we are consumed with whatever we are facing (whether it be good or bad). A food gift reminds us that someone loves us enough to take care of us and keep us healthy and nourished. :) Although I’m not good at casseroles, I enjoy my crock pot!

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