Food grace…

My left wrist set up a coup against me.
Like most coups, it came quick, unexpected, and has really put a crimp in my days.

Tendonitis. So strong, if the wrist is not immobilized, the entire left arm will follow suit. I type with one wrist immobilized by a brace with my fingers dangling out the end in a sad attempt to help out.

But the brace is necessary. And just as an injured wrist needs support, the injured soul needs the same.

“They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here until I have prayed.’ And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.'” –Mark 14:32-34

Jesus had His support system. Long before Gethsemane, Jesus was building friendships,
deep, meaningful friendships. And when the time came that He needed His friends, they were there without question, without hesitation.

No, they weren’t perfect. But they were there.

Are you going about life without support? Have you fallen prey to the notion that you don’t need anyone? Or worse, that you can stay distant, protecting yourself from vulnerability, and do well?

For the last couple of years, I have adjusted my thinking. My calendar is no less busy, but my time available for friends increases. How did that happen? I chose differently. I used to rely on the church to provide me a small group of friends through Bible studies and such.

But I chose to add a little more spice. I chose, instead, to create opportunities to simply hang out with friends. Lunching during the business day, coffee and dessert in the evenings, focusing more on connecting than on some other agenda. And it has made all the difference.

One such opportunity is called “Foodie Friday.” A small group of us who are constantly sharing cooking techniques, ideas, and recipes get together once a month to potluck. This is not your ordinary potluck–we have “food grace” there because it is all about the experimental. Try out that recipe you’ve been wanting to try, make that thing your family hates but you love, try that weird vegetable out on us. If it fails, no problem! Food grace! We will all know not to approach that vegetable in the same way. No trying to bring our best. You know what happens when someone doesn’t have time to make something? Food grace! Just come! What about when the (gasp) store-bought cookies are the only thing coming–food grace! It is a fun little group–now with a “branch campus” in Texas–where the only agenda is hanging out and trying different foods. Can’t make it this month? We’ll see ya next time.

Gatherings such as these have been cherished times of relaxation and laughter. Jesus relaxed with His friends. Maybe we can too.

Set aside the agendas that drive so many of our friendships. Give yourself grace to enjoy your friendships. Relax. Engage. Cherish. And you may just get a glimpse of Jesus smiling in the meantime.

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Photo by Tim Rogers

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