Babette’s Feast, Unconditional Love & Generosity

I watched the tail end of one of my favorite movies last night: Babette’s Feast. I absolutely love that whole feast sequence. I was powerfully moved by Babette’s selfless generosity to do what she loves doing: being a chef. She generously and sacrificially spent all 10,000 francs of her lottery winnings to give 12 people the feast of their lives.

I believe in divine timing. Just that day I was wrestling with being a pastor. Lately, it has been a real struggle serving the church. I went for a therapeutic ride on my motorcycle and just prayed as I glided through the dusk. I heard, in my heart, the words, “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep. Don’t feed on my sheep!” I then realized that I’m still far from being a selfless servant who is willing to serve without reward and to love unconditionally without strings attached or expectations to fulfill. I’ve a long way to go. But I want to get there. Jesus loves the church and gave himself up for her. Paul didn’t want to burden his churches, not as a power trip, but because he loved them.

So, like Babette, I aspire to feed and nurture and love people, not because I want or expect something in return, but because this is what a servant does. This is what a lover does. I’m thankful that my mindless, vegetative channel-surfing turned into an artistic, creative, divine lesson that service is an inspiring work of art, that giving generously is a beautiful, gracious act never to be regretted.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Brian Metzger

    And the best part: they had no idea what they were receiving.

  • David Hayward

    Hey Brian! Indeed! It’s funny in parts because they really didn’t know… for the champagne: “Must be some kind of lemonade!” Sometimes they had an inkling that they were partaking in something very special… you could tell by the look of delight that came across their faces. But for the most part, they were benefiting without understanding. Aren’t we largely unaware of all the love we are receiving? But this doesn’t diminish the wealth of that love being poured out on us.

  • Anne Christensen

    David, I love going to a cafe here in Mo i Rana, Norway which is called Babette’s!!! If you loved that movie, which is Danish, you would love another one, Swedish, which is called: SÃ¥ som i himmelen, or in English it would probably be: As it is in Heaven. It was Oscar nominated as best foreign movie. I love what you said in your blog… or am I writing a blog?? And what God had to tell you. There is certainly a stirring, I can feel it, and i WANT God to do amazing things in our lives and church lives. I want to be one to feed too, not feed on. Thank you for having fed me so many times!! and so many others. But we need to grow. I am so glad God met you and spoke to you, nothing means more than that!