The Proverbs 31 Project: She provides food for her family and portions for her female servants…

Proverbs 31 Project

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. — Proverbs 31:15

I apologize for the strange and convoluted post yesterday. It was a weird verse.

I’m totally not a morning person and will thus spare you the meditations on why I get so much more done when I get up early to do it. I might get more done but I am still a night owl and would rather be up late than forcing myself to try and sleep so I can “get up while it is still night”.

So… onto providing food for my family and portions for my female servants!

Obviously, I’m a pastor’s wife and as my husband is not a wildly successful megachurch pastor or televangelist, I don’t have any female servants. However, going back to the whole “woman of valor as household manager” metaphor of a few days ago, the woman spoken of in Proverbs 31 would have been responsible for the female servants and we’ll just talk about feeding the poor, OK? Good.

Karma is not a biblical principle unless you want to cite the passage in Galatians about how you reap what you sow. However, I do believe that the Lord provides for us as we provide for others. In keeping with this philosophy, I do give to my local food bank even in lean times even if it means finding creative ways to do it. For example, when we lived in Pomona, Daniel wasn’t at a point in terms of his sensory development where our WIC checks even approximated what he would eat and having failed in my attempts to get the nutritionist there to alter them, I decided to just roll with it and use anything left over as a way to give to my food pantry at the church we were attending. We weren’t eating all the cereal they were giving us so we’d donate that. (That was the item that tended to pile up — everything else got consumed by Jon and I and baby food was actually fairly cheap to make from scratch.)

I’ve also heard of couponers using amazing deals as a way of procuring items for their local food bank. There might be a deal on canned pears where you could get 3 for $1 so people would pick up more than they needed and donate the extra. The upside is that it *might* be a way for people to donate who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to do so. The downsides are that not everyone is in that mindset and the food bank could end up with an overabundance of those canned pears. I’ve also heard the advice that you only give something that you would be willing to eat yourself which in my case means that I should not be giving those extra cans of green beans that we somehow acquired during one of our moves. I imagine food banks and food pantries get some interesting items — I know that one of the more interesting items we collected while trick-or-treating for canned food in high school was canned bamboo shoots. I have no idea how I would prepare a meal for my starving family with those and I honestly don’t know if the local food bank was able to use them.

When I’ve heard about groups cooking meals for the homeless, one of the following usually is mentioned:

-soup of some nature
-a hotdish/casserole of some kind

The first two could be done cheaply (pasta can be cheap in bulk and tomato sauce can be procured cheaply in cans) and the third could be done in bulk. Those are not, however, ways in which I would want my family to eat daily though I am sure we could do that if we had no other choice. It irritates me that processed food is cheaper than the fresh stuff and that there are mothers who have to feed their children that way because they have no other options. Produce is expensive as it has to be kept fresh and we are at the mercy of the growing seasons; but it seems like there should be better option. I wish that some of my older parishioners who can everything could donate some of their canned fruits and vegetables to the food bank (free of many of the commercial preservatives) but I know it’s a quality control issue.

So… my thoughts on providing food to the poor. I apologize that this is a meandering reflection but it’s almost 1 a.m. and I need to get to sleep so I can be productive tomorrow.