Each Thursday, a group gathers at Old South Church in Boston to talk about how we are taking care of our Spirit, when it feels like the world is crushing us down.
Each month we focus on a different theme. One month, our theme was "kindness." At the beginning of the month, while decorating note-cards, people said they show kindness by cooking for others. So we decided to make a meal together in which everyone cooked or led one course. We planned and made shopping lists. We decided to make brunch because someone wanted bacon and someone else wanted fruit.
I was extremely nervous. It was hard to give up control and let others serve. Plus, I can't imagine cooking bacon without setting off the smoke detector and burning something. Turns out, no one wanted to burn things down! Instead, the bacon chef cooked it in the microwave while others laid down a table cloth and placed real china plates in front of each seat.
People took turns in the small kitchen as they lovingly prepared their special item. We ate our brunch in courses as each person finished their item in turn. Our meal included: a coffee course, then orange juice, then fruit (watermelon and strawberries), then bacon (lots!!! of bacon), then pancakes with butter and REAL maple syrup. We finished with eggs cooked to order.
We were practicing kindness by letting others show their kindness to us. This meant that when someone was cooking, everyone else stayed around the table. I was on clean-up duty, and luxuriated for 2 hours, sitting in community, sipping O.J., chit-chatting about our favorite foods and our experiences of being busboys and line-cooks.
Several times people said, "It looks like the last supper." And we talked about why, when Jesus wanted the disciples to remember Him and remember God's love, He told them to share a meal. He told them to gather around a table, to take bread and juice, and share it with each other.
We looked around the table and saw the face of Christ in everyone assembled. We saw Christ in ourselves. We felt good and holy and important. We mattered because we had a special kindness to share. The person next to us mattered because they had a special kindness to share. We were all fed, body and soul.
I could have stayed at that table for hours, but I was on clean-up duty and had to do the dishes.
That was my act of kindness.