Opening that refrigerator door was always like Christmas.
We never knew what we would find nestled on those Saran wrapped
paper plates or inside those Styrofoam take-out boxes.
It was always a surprise. It was always good. It was always GIFT!
The Norman Charge bible study met every other week in the Fellowship Hall of Norman UMC which was next to the house we rented during my family leave of absence.
I took leave to care for our daughter Laura Grace after we found out that the
rare genetic syndrome she was born with gave her an average life span of 5 years.
We were gifted with our amazing girl for 4 ½ years. Thank you God!
The members of the bible study always shared a covered dish after they met, and they usually had food left over. At some point, someone suggested that instead of taking the leftovers home, they could leave them for us in the fellowship hall refrigerator.
As a way to help. As a way to care.
We had gone from 2 salaries to 1, so any help was greatly appreciated.
We were given the code to the Fellowship Hall door, and every other week
on Wednesday afternoon, one of us would walk over and retrieve the wrapped and packaged gifts thoughtfully left for us.
With Laura Grace in my arms, together Tom and I would unwrap the cellophaned plates and lift the Styrofoam tops to see what delicious offerings would become our dinner that night.
It was always a surprise and ALWAYS a blessing!
The blessing was especially multiplied when we spent the entire day at UNC for Laura Grace’s doctor appointments. On those days, when we were emotionally and physically exhausted,
SUCH. A. GIFT!
Can a deviled egg have eternal significance?
Can pickled okra, or butter beans, or a somewhat dry piece of cake?
I would argue, yes, they can.
These temporary gifts…with eternal significance.
Because a deviled egg in this case wasn’t just a deviled egg.
We know that you are going through a hard time, and we care.
We can’t change the outcome of this journey, but we can travel it with you.
We don’t know what to do, but we care enough to do what we can.
You may not have been here with us, but out of sight doesn’t mean out of our hearts.
You may be on leave of absence,
but you are not on leave from the reach of God’s gracious love.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Every plate of food shared rended the curtain of darkness which hung over us
allowing the light of God’s love and care to shine through.
Every plate of food shared was a reminder, that in the desolate place of heartbreak,
we were not alone.
Every plate of food shared was a touch of God saying,
I am with you. I have not left you. Receive my love through the kindness of my people.
We may wonder sometimes Church, if what we do makes a difference.
We may wonder if the very little we can barely do or even the big, is doing any good.
Take heart my brothers and sisters.
I’m here to tell you,
It does. It is.
From this mama’s heart, from Tom’s daddy heart, from the joy and help and love and peace which surrounded and filled our beautiful girl’s life…
it does, it is.
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings?
There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Even our grandest constructs are temporary, Church.
the Jesus in our temporary acts of love, kindness, mercy, and grace,
no matter how big or how small,
they are part of the eternal reality of God’s forever love which cannot be thrown down…ever.
Thank you for all that you do, no matter how big or how small. Thank you for being you.
With great gratitude,
*The eternal significance of temporary things is a quote from author and pastor, Erwin McManus
If you would like to view past editions of Grace for the Journey, follow this link: https://fairwaydistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/