On the Receiving End of a Meal Train

Recently I had my personal battle with the Coronavirus; a very difficult one. For the first week I barely ate at all, lost ten pounds, and became so weak that I could barely stand up or walk. By Krishna’s grace, my good friend Rasa Macknight saw my condition and offered to organize a meal train for me. It was the kindest and also the most uncomfortable offer I had ever received; I have always been the commander in chief of our kitchen, and I couldn’t even conceive of others cooking for me. I have happily participated in meal trains before, but I never saw myself as someone who would ever need one. Even in my extremely weakened state, I was thinking, “Oh, I can cook, it’s not so hard,” but the reality was that I just couldn’t. So, after my initial reluctance, I surrendered.

I was not prepared for the emotional response I had the first time a meal was brought to my house. On the giving end, I had always thought that bringing someone a meal was just helpful and kind. On the receiving end, being in such a weakened and helpless position, these wondrous meals, cooked with love by my friends, overwhelmed me with a gratitude that I didn’t expect.

Being sick can bring about a great feeling of isolation, helplessness, and uselessness, apart from others. I certainly felt like that, being accustomed to being very productive and always engaged in active service. But when the meal trains started, these feelings dissipated, and I felt part of the community. I felt loved, seen, valued, and cared for. And, as Mother Adigopi Priya beautifully worded it, “the prasadam from a meal train tastes like love.” I felt nourished physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And the combination of nourishing meals with the opportunity to rest my body completely, was the magic formula for being able to recover completely.

The angels on my meal train were Mother Rasa Mackight, Mother Ragatmika, Mother Ananta Rasa, Mother Adigopi Priya Bosworth, Mother Mukhya, Mother Ballavhi, and Mother Manmohini. I am forever grateful for their care and love.

I am presently on the other side of the sickness, though still anemic, but now that I have the complete picture (the giving and receiving ends of a meal train), I can’t wait to build up my stamina again so I can jump on the next train and bring a loving meal to a devotee in need.

Your servant, Bhakti-lata Dasi