A few weeks ago, I brought a meal to a friend whose son had gone through surgery about a week earlier. As we had a quick visit in her kitchen, she asked if I had brought a meal to our mutual friend who is battling cancer, and I told her I hadn’t been able to yet. I had been reaching out to her to try to find time to connect and planned to bring a meal, but I couldn’t get anything on the calendar, so the meal hadn’t been shared yet.

My friend told me that when they had been in the hospital with their son in the NICU, the only way she could accept offers for a meal was if people dropped it off on the doorstep and left it in containers that didn’t need to be returned.

I asked for clarification. “So, they basically ding-dong-ditched you and left a meal behind?”

“Exactly, and it was amazing,” she answered.

“Aha! I will offer to do the same for our friend,” I replied.

The next week, I was making a huge batch of potato soup and I texted the other friend. “Can I ding-dong-ditch you and leave a meal on your doorstep tonight or tomorrow?”

She answered quickly, “Your soup sounds wonderful. Either night works. Just let me know when you’re swinging by. Thanks so much.”

The thrill and excitement welled up in me as I poured their portion into a beautiful Pyrex dish (I couldn’t find disposable Tupperware big enough, and I thought she would appreciate the big sunflower on the lid). I wrote a small note of love, prayers, and encouragement. When I rang her doorbell and jogged back to my car, it felt amazing! She poked her head out to wave me off as I drove away, and I waved back with a huge smile on my face.

This exchange in the Bible has taken on such a different application for me now.

Mark 12:28-31: One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Ding-dong-ditch dinners are such a practical way to live out loving our neighbors (and friends) as ourselves, and it’s really fun! I recently stopped by to pick up my Pyrex, and this time my friend was up for a few minutes of a visit. She looked beautiful and glowed with hope. I warmly said, “The next time I make a big batch of something, I’ll be ding-dong-ditching you again.” She smiled back and answered, “That sounds great, looking forward to it!”

Who might be in need of something like this in your life? Make a double batch of your family favorite and share half with someone who could use a little lighter load in the next week or two. You’ll be amazed at the joy in being the giver and to know God’s using you in such a practical way, especially in situations where the right words are hard to find. Go ding-dong-ditch someone and leave a meal or some other token of support behind!