This weekend I ate the best beef sandwich I have ever had: succulent meat surrounded by a tangy mustard sauce, with fresh vegetables mixed in, enclosed by a toasted baguette to add a crunchy finish. The best part of this meal? The family I got to spend it with.
Every encounter is different, but there is a familiar feeling when sitting opposite a mother, father or child from any culture, any language, any background and simply sharing a meal. You may have every conceivable reason to believe that you are different from the person across from you, but all seems forgotten through one daily necessity: eating. Food has an amazing ability to bring people together in imagination, creativity, and conversation.
// a universal language //
In the bustling streets of India, I learnt just how spicy food really can be, and how generous the hearts of those who provide it are. As they give you all they have in order that everyone may be fed to the fullest.
When in the outback of Mongolia, families invited us in out of the cold and honoured us with their finest dish of ‘Buuz’ — steamed dumplings filled with meat — Plateful after plateful, followed by traditional sweets and tea.
In conflicted Lebanon, families spent all day preparing and arranging a vast array of the local produce so that we may fully taste that which Lebanon has to offer.
// gathering as one //
While in all of these homes I met with God, as I know He was smiling down on us as we experienced new food and grew new friendships. The meals eaten together created so many opportunities to pray for households and families, speaking life and truth into situations that may have seemed hopeless.
There is power in defying what the world says should be segregated, acknowledging the truth as we share food together. We are all made in the image of God and are in fact children of God, who are loved by God.