Sunday, November 30, 2008

Styrofoam Blessings and Tupperware Karma

“Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”

Evan and I started out our Thanksgiving Day by delivering meals made by our church to several addresses in Clifton. It was good to brighten the day of someone in need or alone.

I was impressed with the manner in which over 600 meals (according to Bob Clifford, who directs Canyon View's Servant Evangelism program) were prepared, packaged, loaded, and delivered within 2 or 3 hours' time by church staff and congregation members.

The level of participation and organization was particularly impressive. We came in to the church's office section and were directed to a table where the addresses for meal delivery were organized by ZIP code. Each address had the name of the recipient, number of meals needed, contact phone number, and an Internet-produced map with directions.

We were then directed into the fellowship hall, where several people were taking turkey, stuffing, and other items and packaging them into Styrofoam containers and shopping bags. Another group had loaded non-perishable food items such as Ramen noodles and Mac and Cheese into smaller bags. These were then placed on tables for the delivery volunteers to load into their cars and proceed into the community.

We had a total of 6 meals to deliver to 3 houses, and it took us about an hour. We went back to the church to get more and were told that everything had been sent out. This was a great experience not only because of the feeling that God's work was being done, but that this task was completed with joy and efficiency by a competently-led group of volunteers. Well done.

We were also invited by some longtime friends, Jim and Sue Nall, to have dinner with them and their sons, Anthony and Aaron. We have known the Nalls since Evan and Tony were about 5, and were playing organized soccer for the first time.

After dinner and a little bit of TV, the boys all wanted to go somewhere else, which I suppose can be expected from high school seniors with drivers' licenses. True to their excellent gastronomic timing, they made it back just in time for dessert, then headed out again.

I left with several containers of leftovers. Sue had made us soup and pie a couple of weeks ago, so I had brought those pots and pans back with me, and was now returning them in exchange for more containers.

Evan mentioned to me something he had heard of which basically went like this; if you give someone food in containers, and the person you gave it to makes food for someone and uses those containers, then you will eventually receive more food, and thus more containers, than you gave away.

He called this 'Tupperware Karma", and I've only been able to find a few mentions of it online.

The one that seemed the most original distilled it down to this:
"Only when you are able to give generously without expectation of reciprocity will the universe reward you with more plastic ware."
If I cooked more often and gave food to people, I would probably understand this better. I'm no Gene Kinsey, but I can cook when properly motivated. I can read a recipe, and have made several for baked goods from scratch, including a cheesecake that Evan and I made that came out quite well, even without a springform pan.

We inherited some great cookbooks, and there is a lot of joy and love in them.

We ate all of the turkey, but there is still stuffing and potatoes left over, yearning for a good hunk of roast gobbler and a jar of Heinz gravy. I'll get the containers back to their owner, with great amounts of gratitude and appreciation for the skill and love that went into the meal.

Perhaps one day some Tupperware will make its' way from our home to someone, and perhaps the karmic cycle of plastic ware can begin in earnest.

I hope that many of you were able to successfully navigate, survive, or avoid the annual after-Thanksgiving convocation of The First Church of My Stuff, and that you will have a steady and blessed journey through the last month of the year.

Have a good week ahead.

2 comments:

The little old mom who lived in a shoe said...

Super title! Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like it went really well. Good for you and Evan for helping the way you did with delivering meals with your church. You're a good dad. :)

Len said...

What a great Thanksgiving story, and what a great insight into the way Canyonview lives its values in the community. In that context, I was recently at a food and hunger meeting, where I met a remarkable woman from Canyonview who is responsible for the church's "backpack" program, which sends low income kids home from school on Friday's with food enough to help get them through the weekend. I think her name is Vicky, although it was a big meeting, and I didn't catch everyone's name. But, her commitment to this most basic concept of connecting hungry people with the food they need was really inspiring to the rest of us there.