Food and shelter are two important gifts. People need these basic gifts to survive. Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973), an Italian and prominent fashion designer said, “Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.” Food like shelter gives us confidence. They are inspirational and morale boosters. It’s not only about eating and having a home - it’s about having the right kind of food and shelter. Many of the poor are unable to appreciate these gifts in our society with an overabundance. All should share food that supports life. St. Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary wrote, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Undoubtedly the person you feed may be able to live a successful life.
Gifts of Food
There are amazing ways to view food. Louise Fresco (b. 1952), a Dutch scientist, and director said, “Food in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity.” Food could be a miracle worker. It touches lives, shares joy, and celebrates special moments. That’s why Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), a German composer wrote, “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” It takes talent and perseverance to serve up the right type.
As believers we must endeavor to help others by giving food. These gifts could take a variety of forms, and might literally make us become better people. Joseph Wooden (1910–2010), a basketball player said, “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks to your blessings and pray for guidance every day.” It isn’t only for food we must pray, but for shelter on rainy days. We should do our best to help the disadvantaged, and the homeless.
The Basic Necessities
Even if we have the basic necessities that won’t mean we wouldn’t be tested with storms in our lives. Dalai Lama (b. 1935), a monk and 14th Dalai Lama wrote, “Even when a person has all of life’s comforts – good food, good shelter, a companion – he or she can still become unhappy when encountering a tragic situation.” Tragedy doesn’t discriminate, it happens to everyone, and we must spiritually prepare to handle such misfortunes.
Having a good heart could invoke our compassion to be sensitive about God’s creation. This could be a gift for how we treat our brothers and sisters. Francis of Assisi (1118/1182–1226), an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher said, “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” Whether animals we raise for food, used in sports, or pass unnoticed - our actions relate how well we would treat people.
The Storms of Life
So during the storms of life we must stand side by side with the afflicted to give them support. We must show we really care, ensure they have food, and provide shelter. Anne Graham Lotz (b. 1948), a Christian evangelist wrote, “When the storms of life come, if they come to me personally, to my family or to the world, I want to be strong enough to stand and be a strength to somebody else, be shelter for somebody.” Lotz vividly captured what being a gift to those embroiled in such a storm should be.