One of the most striking images of the early days of the war between Russia and Ukraine is an image of Ukrainian women giving food and drink to a Russian soldier—you might have seen a video of the scene in which they let him have an emotional video call with his mother, as well. The young man is clearly hungry and stressed, and the tender kindness of the women, offered in spite of the horror of the attack on their homeland, is a gesture of love and peace that gives one hope for humankind in spite of the brutality that created that situation in the first place.
It is a beautiful thing whenever people break bread together. The sharing of a meal can be a gesture of love, peace, and community that brings people together at the point of their common need for daily sustenance. It blesses both the giver and the recipient in many ways, and it can open pathways for conversation, for understanding, for empathy, regardless of culture, in spite of enmity, and whether or not the participants even speak the same language.
Some of the most memorable meals of my life have taken place in settings of stark contrasts—I, as a protestant Christian pastor, dining alongside a Muslim imam in a mosque at an Eid celebration; I, a middle-class white American, dining in the home of an impoverished Haitian family, none of whom spoke English (and I only knew a few words in Haitian Creole), but who shared their meal freely and generously; my wife and I, sharing meals in small cafés in northwest Spain with fellow pilgrims from Russia, South Korea, and other countries—people we had just met on the trail while walking a week-long pilgrimage—in spite of the vast oceans of differences between those of us around those tables, these experiences were as rich and joyful as any of the meals we have shared with good friends and family in the comfort of our own homes.
Consider joining a team of good people doing loving work together. LINK’s work is an act of faith, hope and love that offers peace and a meal to all who come through our doors. It is a work that takes the efforts of many in our community, and we invite you to join us.
As always, we send our heartfelt gratitude to all who faithfully help us with our mission in so many different ways, week after week.
Rev. Doug Heacock, member of the LINK Board of Directors
Food is essential for life, but sharing food goes deeper.
Sharing of food with others is life-giving in more than simply biological ways. The sharing of food:
- Communicates love and caring
- Offers a few moments of peace
- Provides hope for another day
- Restores faith in humanity.