June 19, 2014
My Grandma was a cook. She was not a cook by profession, but for love. Cooking and feeding others was the way she wrapped her family and friends in comfort and contentment. Cooking was the way she honored accomplishments and created celebrations. Cooking was the creative culmination of the planting and hoeing, and harvesting acres of garden glories. I'm sure that she could be counted as feeding the five thousand in the course of her lifetime. My Granddaddy could cook. He did the cooking once my Grandma was no longer able. His cooking was simple nourishment, made to fill the demands for nutritious meals, to keep hunger away. Sixty plus years have passed since the green oval platter showing off bacon and eggs sat in front of me at my grandparents breakfast table.
These days, I cook often. Our young missionaries work a stressful schedule. They work in all kinds of weather and with all kinds of people. They ride bikes and buses, cars and trains. They walk miles and miles. When they come home, it is to spare apartments meant for sleep and study. On scheduled occasions they come together for trainings, conferences and transfers. Oh how they love to be together! There are reunions with former companions and trainers, and friends. There are stories and miracles to be shared as well as hard times and struggles. When these meetings cross lunchtime, a meal is served. With gratitude for their efforts and love for the enviable individuals that they are, we feed them. I organize and plan the meals. On the appointed day, Elder Abbott and I along with the other two senior missionary couples in the office, feed the five thousand. They only number in the hundreds, but they eat like the five thousand. We cook and chop and purchase and set out and refill and clean up. It is a combination of my grandma's and granddaddy's cooking and feeding. They eat and laugh and talk and enjoy the food and the company. There is comfort and contentment, nourishment and hunger abated. They celebrate their comraderie as missionaries. They rest for a moment. These days, I am a cook---not by profession, but for love.