If you’ve been following us on the LoveFeast Table journey, you know we are all about bringing people to the table. Whether people meet us at our table or we meet them at theirs. We think it’s easy to invite guests over. Yeah, there’s the stress of menu planning, grocery shopping and cleaning your house. There’s also meal preparation and table~scaping, trying to capture the right mood for your guests to feel comfortable and welcomed. It’s a bit of work and sacrifice, but, we all know, it’s well worth it! The pay off is usually wonderful! Your guest leave with satisfied stomachs and great memories!
It’s a bit easier to respond to a dinner invitation. Really, all you have to do is show up. Sometimes, you stop and pick up a hostess gift to show your appreciation for all the time your hostess spent on making you a wonderful meal. But, other than that you are given the gift of a meal!
Now, there’s a third category we have around here and that’s a LoveBomb. What is a LoveBomb? It’s the act of preparing, serving and or sharing a meal with people you wouldn’t normally. A LoveBomb requires a little more. It still calls for meal planning, shopping, preparation. But, it also calls for you coming out of your comfort zone and taking a risk. It’s a bit edgy, we know. But, of all the meals I have made over my life (and I’ve made plenty both personally and with a catering company and restaurant) this one has a surprising outcome. My husband and I have been LoveBombing around Baltimore. It’s our city. We love it! We want to see people come together around the table.
We started by LoveBombing a bunch of skaters. We actually got the name, LoveBomb from these boys. Some of them are…let’s say, “wall-artists”. When they “throw up” a piece of art, it’s called Bombing. Well, we wanted to throw down some love. We have met them at their park every month for a year. Sometimes we fire up the grill and serve up bacon cheeseburgers (their favorite). Or we warm up a huge pot of cider and serve it with some cookies. Sometimes while a couple (our friends have joined in) make and serve the food, others will fill contractor bags with garbage. Once we had a 40 yd dumpster delivered and we filled it. You see, as we’ve met these boys in their place and served them a delicious meal, any walls that have been built, any misconception about who they are or who we are, have quickly melted away. At first, they wanted to know what we were about. They wanted to know, “What’s the catch?” We would answer, “This is a LoveFeast. We thought you’d be hungry!” Over the year a sort of relationship with these boys has grown. We look forward to the LoveBomb, and when we show up, we know they’ve been waiting. It is a meal that keeps on giving.
This fall we began to go down to Brooklyn in Baltimore city. Brooklyn is a bit of a “step child” here in Baltimore. It’s not a pretty place, on the outside. The crime is high. The drugs are abundant. Gangs are marking their territories. We decided to LoveBomb here. Some of the friends that joined us were nervous. Some were excited. We set up a table, fired up the grill and within minutes we had a crowd. People went and got their neighbors. One man asked if he could have a plate for a homeless guy on the corner. Our crew came out of their shells and fell right into conversations with people. The older kids started a football game and the younger kids started drawing with chalk. Before we knew it, the food was gone and popsicles appeared. We didn’t bring them…turns out the teens got inspired and walked to the corner store and bought a box for everyone to share. I wish I could write here just how amazing a LoveBomb is…the gifts it has given me…the lessons I’ve learned. I wish I could introduce you to my new friends so you could hear their stories! But, really my hope is that you are inspired to LoveBomb yourself.
I know what some of you are thinking. This is crazy! This is too much of a leap for me! But, let me share with you some other LoveBombing ideas.
Recently I was invited to join a few mommas for a play date at a playground. It was crispy and windy outside. I brewed a couple pots of coffee, threw it in my air-pot. I put some cups, sugar and half and half (no powdered creamer here!) in a bag. I loaded up my toddler and headed to the park. When I pulled out the coffee, the moms I had just met, quickly filled their cups, warmed their hands and began to share their stories. To me, that was a LoveBomb.
What if, you made boxed lunches for the teachers at your kids schools? What if you took the time to make a delicious sandwich, bake some cookies, throw in a thank you note and LoveBombed the kid’s school?
What if you made some snicker doodles and headed to a retirement home in your community. What if you just went in and sat with a few people who hadn’t had a visitor in a long time and shared a cookie with them?
What if you made an extra plate at dinner and invited your single neighbor to join you at the table for a home cooked meal?
What if you bought a box of popcicles and went out your front door and sat and shared them with the neighborhood kids?
You see, LoveBombing doesn’t have to be a big event. It just requires you to take a risk. I promise, the payoff far surpasses the risk.
Who will you LoveBomb?