I was on a retreat last summer when my friend Elizabeth, a novice with the Servants of the 11th Hour, taught us to pray “and bless the hands that made the food” after grace. At first, I was a little flattered as I was one of those who helped cook lunch. By end of the retreat, she had all of us saying it.
I didn’t put much though into it at the time and since then, I’ve only thought of it on special occasions. But then last Sunday I had a package of Swiss Rolls for the first time in years. Now, I love chocolate in general, but for some reason taking my first bite of this cake and icing treat was, in a word, divine. The first thing that came to mind was, “Lord, bless the hands that made this food!”
It got me to thinking… All I had to do was pick up this box off the shelf. Who really made these sweet snacks?
Well, for starters there were the employees who unpacked it from a box and put it on the shelf that I picked it up from at a certain super store, the employees who unloaded it from the truck, the truck driver who drove it from the local distribution center (probably the one in New Braunfels), the employees who loaded the boxes that came off another truck from another distribution center (probably in Arkansas), and then finally the bakery that sold it to this company. That’s a lot of hands.
But wait. Where did the bakery get their ingredients? There’s the flour and sugar and eggs and chocolate to start with. And then all the farmers and processers in between! For all I know, hundreds of hands went into the making of my food. Any food for that matter.
For a second, I saw in my mind the delicate web of people and places that go into my humble little dessert and I wondered if this is just a glimpse of what God sees in all his glory in Heaven. If it’s what we’ll all get to see when we get there, too?
With a content sigh I took my second bite. Lord, bless the hands that made the food.