Monday, April 27, 2009

Other Peoples' Plates

What a great weekend in the Crescent City! Some of my dearest and closest friends -- where I spent over 16 years of my life . . .

Food is a big deal in New Orleans. No overstatement here. I have lived and traveled in quite a few places. Food is high on most lists list everywhere. So, there is food in New Orleans, and then there is food every place else. If they love you, they feed you in New Orleans. From chocolate covered pecans to stuffed grape leaves I had it all. I did not fall off the wagon, but I did sample a bunch of stuff.

As I thought back on the weekend a pattern emerged. Almost every meal I had, in public, someone with me gave me something off their plate. One meal, someone handed me their plate and ordered another one. We took sharing a meal together to another level. How did it feel? Well, I noticed it. That should tell you something. Over time it looked like a profound lesson, and then lessons.

My grace story has always been . . . getting something I did not deserve, that belonged to someone else, offered freely, with no strings attached. The pattern that emerged from the weekend became a great reminder to me of God. He has put me around people, amazing people, every step of the journey, more than I deserved. People have loved and cared for me, more than I deserved. He gave me a wife, children, grandchildren, son-in-law parents, sister, and more, that is far beyond what I have deserved.

I have been given opportunities to see, do, and serve - far beyond what I deserved. Almost like a great big heavenly plate being pushed over my plate, with a fork saying, here you go, have some! Awkward at times, unexpected, out of the blue, a little personal. How do I feel about it? Well, I am noticing it. That should tell you something.

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