Fend Night

When I was a girl, my family frequently had a “Fend Night” – for dinner, you had to fend for yourself. Figure it out on your own and have whatever you want for dinner. Mom wasn’t cooking, Dad wasn’t cooking, but the kitchen was free for anything you wanted to do. And I’ve never quite gotten over it.

I’m not proud of my ability to fish around in the pantry and fridge until I can throw together something to eat. Mostly it’s a selfish practice that prevents me from preparing a real meal that my husband and I can enjoy together. On nights when I do this (when he works late), he insists that I at least sit with him while he eats dinner (which I usually prepare with more attention and concern than what I prepared for myself).

I love that he doesn’t want us to fend for ourselves – he wants to share a meal, a moment, some time, with me. And this feels a lot like salvation. I don’t have to feel abandoned and left to my own devices.

“Everytime you do this, think of me” meant more than just eating a piece of bread at church. Partly, it’s a reminder that everytime we have a meal, we should remember the people we love, experience communion with them, and enjoy some time together. Sometimes that means sitting down to dinner and sometimes it’s the easy freedom of a Fend Night.

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