I woke up hungry today, but I didn’t know for what. I could feel a pain in the pit of my stomach that breakfast didn’t ease. At first I thought it might be a craving for the brown beans and sweet cornbread that my Mom used to make me when I was a boy. As I ate my breakfast oatmeal my mind was remembering how I would butter up a slice of that cornbread and savor every spoonful of those delicious beans. It made me smile just thinking of it.
After breakfast my stomach was full but the pain was still there. I found my mind wandering back once more to those wonderful dinners of spaghetti and homemade bread that my Italian Grandma, “Nanny”, would make for us on Sunday’s after church. I looked forward to them all week. Each one of those meals made my belly feel heavy but my heart feel light. It was then that I realized that the pain in the pit of my stomach was really a longing from the depths of my heart. What I was hungry for wasn’t those meals so much as the love that came with them. I remembered the sweet sound of my Mom and Nanny calling to me to come and eat. I remembered the big hug and gentle kiss I would so often get before I sat down at the table. I remembered the laughter, joyful voices, and happy hearts as we would sit down to eat as a family. I longed for one more family meal from my childhood. I longed for one more chance to hug Mom and Nanny and to tell them just how much I love them.
As I sat wrapped in the love of those old memories I wiped away a tear and sent a little “Thank You” Heavenward to Mom and Nanny for all the love they gave me over the years and to God for giving me so many years with them. Then I smiled and headed out to share some more love today.
Every hungry heart can be filled with love, but it is up to us to do so. Remember, the more love you share, the more love you have. And the best way to get a hug is to give one yourself.