Comfort Food

Chocolate might be the biggest comfort food, huh? What is it about it that gives a person comfort when they eat chocolate?

I was helping out a few weeks ago at a street ministry for homeless people. Usually there is a whole lineup of food waiting for the homeless: usually it starts with a whole lot of hot cooked chicken, then some different types of sandwiches, then some breads like bagels, and at the end there are some sweets. Sometimes, sometimes, like the other day, there is candy.

So at the end when everything was done and everyone was wrapping up, there was a whole lot of leftover candy. One of the guys was trying to give it away, and he was digging through a whole big box of chocolate bars. Finally he digs up a bag of little chocolates and opens it up. “Sugar-free chocolate bars.” What?? Sugar-free chocolate? That’s like chocolate-free chocolate, isn’t it? What’s the point? The whole point of the chocolate bar is sugar and chocolate. It gives comfort. I took one to taste it.

Later on I opened it up and ate it. Not only did it not taste like chocolate, but it left the worst aftertaste you could imagine. I thought, “I’m never going to have one of those again.” They took out the aspect that was the whole purpose of the thing.

When we follow the Lord, we are given the gift of an interior love that adds a special something to the places that we go and the people we’re around. That love becomes the one thing that we provide. We even become the presence of love. But if we lose that love, well, a Christian without love is like love-free love. The whole point of being Christian is lost. We don’t taste good anymore, and other people who are looking for comfort and hope in their struggles of their lives don’t want anything to do with us. But if we keep the fire inside, then we can give others the inspiration and lift they are looking for from Christians.

We can give them comfort food.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.” (Mt 5:13) “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mk 9:50)

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