What a blessing food can be, what a testimony of the richness and variety of the Creation. And how good food can lift our souls and fill us with gladness and gratitude.
Food even played a role in a number of small spiritual experiences in my life. For example, during my mission in the Zurich, Switzerland Mission, I was stationed in St. Gallen near the end of my 2 years. My willing companion and I wanted to achieve a lot in those last few weeks, so we made a few extra sacrifices and tried to be extra efficient to have more teaching time. On the day before preparation day, we had largely run out of food, but we still had some rice, some sardines, and some tomato sauce. Rather than go shopping outside of preparation day, we decided to make do with what we had. I've always been into experimental cuisine, and it often works out surprisingly well - but not that day. My mixture of mashed sardines, tomato sauce, and rice was one of the least appetizing experiments I've tried. Ugh. We ate as much as we could, but we were hungry not long after.
s six PM approached and shops were about to close, we felt like taking some time off to get a bite of real food. But it was also prime teaching time, and we decided to keep working, heading toward some apartment buildings. We liked to joke a lot, and so we joked a little - still partly hopeful - about how our sacrifice of hunger might just qualify for a blessing or two. "Yeah, I think I would like the blessing of some good bread," I said. Nothing beats Swiss bread! My companion, Elder Angerhofer, said, "And I would like the blessing of some wurst." I then added cheese to my ideal menu, and he added nuts. Bread, cheese, sausage, and nuts. That's what we were thinking about as we cheerfully climbed the stairs of an apartment building and knocked on a door at the top of the stairs. It opened, and to our surprise, the woman who saw us seemed happy to see us, checked with her husband, and then warmly invited us in. This was not common. We were seated in the living room and were surprised to see something unusual on the table in front of us: a bowl of nuts. I think they were peanuts. We didn't actually eat any, but it raised our eyebrows - this was not a common thing to see in a Swiss living room. Thus husband and wife explained that they knew all about us and had met with missionaries before. The wife then got up and left as we kept talking with the husband. A few moments later she called us into the kitchen. "I thought you might be hungry - you missionaries always are - so I prepared a light snack for you." Spread out over the table was a feast for a king - at least in our eyes: delicious bread, cheese, and sausage (Italian style - delicious). Plus apple juice. It was one of the best meals ever because it was so appreciated.
That night we realized that the Lord was mindful of us and that He has a genuine sense of humor.
If you have missionaries in your area, whether you are LDS or not, invite them in for a bite. Chances are they could use a break and might even be on the hungry side.
From Matthew 10:40-42:
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.Yes, even a cup of water to the missionaries will count. But think of the extra blessings if you can offer them something even more wonderful like good bread, cheese, and a strawberry or two.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Oh, say, did you notice verse 41? "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward." Why would Christ say that if there were to be no more prophets after Him?
Anyway, praise be to God for the wonderful blessing of delicious food. May we rejoice in His goodness and share good food liberally with those in need, with our friends and families, and with the Lord's servants.