“Finding joy and blessings in cooking for others” by Margaret West
I am baking again this Advent, as I have ever since I can remember. Dozens of batches of cookies with the extravagant holiday aromas of spices, chocolate, mint, nuts, fruit or candy added to the basic butter, sugar, eggs, flour, leavening and salt. What began as early childhood helping turned into a competency that by second grade, I was regularly baking just for fun. Whether by myself, with my mom or sisters or friends, the thrill of turning a few humble ingredients into something new and delicious sparked joy. Improving with practice sparked joy. Sharing with others sparked joy. Delighting in another’s pleasure still sparks joy!
Cooking for others is a time-honored expression of care for others, often to celebrate, comfort or say thank you. It also meets the Gospel imperative to see (feed/clothe) Christ in all persons.
Over the decades I was motivated to learn more about science and alchemy and even master a few pastry chef techniques. Most importantly though, I discovered that when we are aware that our hands are extensions of our heart in our work as conscious co-creators, we open ourselves to the flow of divine blessing – through our entire being including our bodies. As we are blessed, so too the food is blessed by intention. Love is baked in, and also blesses the recipient. Blessings multiply. We are healed.
If you consider contributing to our P2P cookie drive or to cook for others on our prayer list, prepare to receive blessings a hundred -fold, perhaps even a thousand -fold, for every gift you share. Whether we give or receive, we participate in a prayer made real. So let’s remember to enjoy eating a few cookies along the journey!