My husband served a mission for our church in Danetsk, Ukraine from 1999-2001. The president of his mission once taught the missionaries using the analogy that "There's nothing better than a brownie on a paper plate."
Now, why would he say that? I mean, aside from the obvious reason that brownies are just straight up delicious. The thing is, we're not talking about just any brownie. It's a brownie that you didn't have to bake. It either magically appeared on your doorstep (adorned with an anonymous bow), or your neighbor brought it over because she "was just thinking of you and wanted to share." It's that kind of brownie. And, to top it off, once you've eaten every last crumb of that chocolatey goodness, there's no plate that needs to be washed and returned. You can just sit back, relax, and feel grateful for a friend that took the time to show she cared and expected absolutely nothing in return, not even the plate on which the brownies were received.
There are many things that bring me joy in this world. At the very top, though, are my faith, my family, my friends, and service. I've found that making food for others is one of my favorite ways that I can serve. Delivering a meal to a friend in times of need can significantly ease her burdens and lift her spirits. There are countless times the gift of a meal can be a wonderful service - when a friend is sick, has a new baby, has a family member in the hospital, has lost a loved one, or is feeling overwhelmed by her responsibilities at home and work.
When my son had his tonsils removed recently, I was unprepared for the level of pain he would endure and how much extra care he would require during his recovery. A friend brought dinner to us, and it was enough food to feed our family for two days. I was so grateful. That was one less worry for me, and it freed up the time I would have spent cooking and allowed me to better care for my son. Her service truly lightened my load.
It doesn't always need to be a big meal. Sometimes, it's just nice to know you've got a friend who cares. And, really, there's nothing better than a brownie on a paper plate.
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