Some things taste better the next day: homemade chili, my mom’s potato salad, Thanksgiving turkey.
For a few days around Thanksgiving, I polled readers here about their favorite food item on the holiday table. A good number of you picked turkey. A few more picked mashed potatoes or dressing.
But the largest percentage of you picked the leftovers. Given any part of the whole feast to pick, you said you liked leftovers the best.
Maybe it’s because with leftovers, there’s no obligation to cook. Open fridge. Plop on plate. Nuke. Enjoy.
Or maybe it’s the fact that, with leftovers, you get a little of everything — not just the turkey or just the potatoes — but the whole feast, all over again.
Or maybe we like the comfort of the familiar — food eaten not off china, but spooned out of Tupperware containers onto everyday dishes, to be enjoyed back at the kitchen table.
The old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” What does that mean for us who prefer the leftovers?
After a long stretch of leftover dinners this week, my husband left home today to spend the weekend in prison.
Scott isn’t in trouble, mind you. Two times a year, he and a group of friends travel to the prison to share Christ with inmates during a retreat called “Brothers in Blue.” It’s a time of worship, reflection and fellowship inside the prison walls.
Last night, while Scott and I drew up the covers, he shared with me again why he keeps going back.
“Jennifer,” he said, “I think the thing that strikes me the most is that in their whole entire lives, a lot of these guys have never felt like anybody was truly interested in them. And if anyone ever was interested, it was only because they wanted something from them. Someone always had another motive.”
Like any of us, Scott said, these men want to feel genuine love, to feel like someone actually cares about them.
And that’s what Scott and a bunch of guys will do this weekend. They will go there and love them. They will invite these guys to the Table of Grace.
Gathered before God, these men are a rag-tag bunch of sinners, regardless of which side of the razor wire they call home.
Prisoner or free, they are all sinners — saved by grace.
On the world’s menu, they are the leftovers.
None of them sees himself as the main course, or even a fancy side dish. Rather, they are like beggars on the floor, just hoping for a crumb from the Master’s Table.
There’s humility in the leftovers.
If it’s true what they say — You are what you eat — then I, too, shall choose the leftovers. I shall take my place beside the prisoner, the prostitute, the drug user. I shall sit among sinners, saved by grace, who — like I — would settle for the crumb but somehow receive the feast.
Will you join me in praying for the prisoners at Brothers in Blue, as well as our husbands, fathers and friends who are taking Christ’s love behind prison walls this weekend? Thank you!