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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The quiet comfort of covered dishes

When we take foods to suffering friends, we also bring love. Here are fresh ways to make our caring nourishing.

The inspiration comes from Job: He is in agony. Three of his friends hear of his trouble and visit. They meet for consolation and comfort. They sit with him seven days and seven nights, no one speaking.How do we approach friends in a crisis with family, health or fresh grief? Our caring presence never takes away pain and tears or erases tragic separations. But as Christians in community, we can offer "quiet comfort" coupled with a gift of food. It was, in fact, a Jewish tradition for people who visited someone in mourning to be still until the mourner spoke. Quiet comfort powered by the silent strength of God's love is still our guide.

The ritual of going to a friend's house with potholders in our hands and caring in our hearts is played out thousands of times in Lutheran communities worldwide. The curative power of this outreach is boundless. Are there new ways to enrich, refine or simplify this ministry of covered dishes?


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