Last night was my night to cook. I whipped up a quick frittata with whatever leftovers I could find, made a small salad with our home-grown zucchini and tomatoes, and pulled out some bread. Just a simple weeknight dinner during a very busy week. A few minutes before 6:00, my household and I were about to sit down to eat when the doorbell rang. Our next-door neighbor, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, and her husband walked in and thanked us for inviting them over to dinner ...
... which we hadn't. Of course we've had them over many times before, so it wasn't a strange idea, it's just that we've all been on vacation and this was the first dinner our household has had together in a month. So we were pretty sure we hadn't invited anyone over.
But the Lord provides! We quickly masked any surprise and Anne B. accompanied me to the kitchen where I fried up some potatoes and broke out the pre-made cookie dough we miraculously had in the fridge, and Anne sauteed some squash and added more lettuce to the salad. We set two extra places without anyone noticing, then brought everyone in to the dining room for a lovely meal.
It may not have been the feeding of the five thousand, but it was clear that the Lord provides. I was so thankful for what we, as a household, are able to do and to be for these neighbors. What other Alzheimer's patient could show up unexpectedly for a dinner she "remembered" being invited to and be welcomed like this? I wouldn't fault anyone for gently saying, "I'm sorry, dear, we hadn't planned on having you tonight. Maybe we can plan this for another time." But because we work smoothly as a household - able to expand a meal at a moment's notice, without stress - and because we share the desire to be Christ to our next-door neighbors and to love them the best that we can - we were really able to be a blessing to them, and to be blessed by their presence.