Lovest thou me?…Feed my sheep. John 21:16
I keep tripping across this passage as I spend time in my scriptures. While I understand the clear message inherent in this scripture, it also has me repeatedly thinking about the opportunities I have to “feed” those around me. In the dictionary the word feed is defined as…supply with provisions, nourish, to give food. As a Mom, those things are part of what I do each day.
In John, Christ is speaking of spreading the gospel and bringing people to Him. That mission begins in our homes. How will my children/grandchildren learn to trust that the Lord will care for them if their basic needs aren’t met at home? If I, as a mother, am their first experience with the connection between parent and child, what am I teaching about their Father in Heaven? How can their spiritual hunger be addressed if their physical hunger or other needs are not filled?
And so I feed others; and have the opportunity to become more like the Savior in the process. He provides not only food, but nourishment. So should I. He planned, created, and beautified all He has given us, and smiled at the result. I should happily spend both my physical and mental energy on nourishing and feeding both the souls and bodies of all who enter my home. He provides comfort and healing when we need it, including (and sometimes especially) when we don’t “deserve it.” I should too. He assists us by helping us learn what we need to know to successfully get through life’s journey. That should be something I strive to teach as well.
My job is to feed bodies, hearts, minds, and souls so that those for whom I have cared have experienced enough of love and trust that when the time comes, they know how to hand things over to Him, trust in His love, and be at peace. If they can do that, they have truly been well-fed.