By Brendan Pousett
It is often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. It is a phrase that makes a lot of sense to me, since there are few comforts I enjoy more than a great meal, prepared painstakingly by hands of love. On a much less poetic note, there are some occasions where I appreciate a meal cooked on my behalf simply because it is a practical way of serving me (pun intended) when I am busy.
Cooking meals for someone saves them time and nourishes their body. There have been many times during midterm season when I have been too tired/busy to cook, and each time it has just taken a phone call to have my Mom’s 2006 Sienna screaming down Hwy 99, with a crockpot full of stew and some weird, creatively concocted beverage in tow.
Ok so now that my love of food is out of the way, let me set the scene of thanksgiving weekend, 2017. I had come home, as I usually do on thanksgiving, intent on sharing some hearty times with family and friends. However, due to the recent arrival of my niece to the faraway land known as Calgary, my parents were whisked away from their usual post of cooking the aforementioned tasty treats in order to assist in caring for a 4 week old human being. My older sister and I were left behind with a whiny dog, and a gathering intended for tens of joyous people stuffing their faces and being thankful for pumpkin pie turned into a crew of two students studying heat transfer and new testament greek. I should mention here that thanksgiving is also my favourite holiday, so missing out was an extra big deal.
And so it came to pass that during this weekend of relative isolation, I began to isolate myself more and more, using homework as an excuse for missing the chance to see friends. Of course, I wasn’t doing much homework either, which made me feel bad for procrastinating. As the weekend wore on, I began to question my decision coming home. On Sunday night, the thoughts took over.
“God, what do I even have to be thankful for this weekend? I mean, you have taken all the things I enjoy out of this weekend, and given me a ton of schoolwork to do as well?….Geez, this sucks, school sucks, get me out of here”.
And as I sat at my desk, throwing myself a pathetic pity party, I began to realize that I was also very hungry, which did nothing to alleviate the harmful, selfish thoughts racing through my brain. Somewhere during this time period, my sister had gone out to visit a family friend. Noticing her return, I stumbled into the kitchen to say hello, and rustle me up some grub from the fridge. It was at this moment that she produced a to-go box, full of a delicious thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. As I stood there, stupefied of the generosity so perfectly enclosed in that plastic to go container, I realized how skewed my perspectives had become.
The comforts of home to which I had felt entitled were unavailable to me, and there was nothing I could do to get them back. It was only through the generosity of others that I felt loved, and God revealed to me that because of my attitude, I had not been showing that same generosity and kindness to others. It was this moment where God challenged me to let go of the perception I deserved better, but instead to be an agent in showing his love and kindness to people who feel alone. I know that this is an area that requires a lot of work in, but I am looking forward to the journey of God using me to encourage, just as I was encouraged by an act of generosity on Thanksgiving, 2017.