Leftovers

December 4, 2008 | 16 comments

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.

Bon appetit.

***

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!

by | December 4, 2008 | 16 comments

16 Comments

  1. Rick D.

    Jennifer!

    Big fan of leftovers – nothing fancy or labor intensive, but all the goodness again, needing reheating.

    Count me in on the BiB prayer team – there, but for the grace of God, go I – and for a warming of hearts.

    Biggest prison on earth? The one between our ears…

    Reply
  2. Billy Coffey

    Lovely post, Jennifer. I think that Christians often forget that Jesus dined with the “convicts” of His day, the prostitutes and the tax collectors. As with Him, we are physicians, tending to the sick, the forgotten, the leftovers.

    Reply
  3. lynnrush

    Great post, Jennifer.

    Yes, Billy has it right…Jesus ate with tax collectors, talked to prostitutes, I mean, it’s not the heathly that need a doctor, right?

    I will be praying for the men going forth and showing Christ’s love to those who feel like the leftovers, the unforgotten, and the unloved.

    Thanks for this post, it was great to read.

    Reply
  4. Chris Godfredsen

    “I have come,” said Jesus, “so that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I, too, am a leftover – one who has been truly touched by God by a group of people who driven by this sense of having this life Jesus talks about, and offering it to others.

    Count me in on the prayers (even did a little cell phone hazing of them on their journey last evening!) – and may those inmates see genuine love, the love of Jesus, through these guys this week. May they dine wholeheartedly at the Table of Grace!

    Reply
  5. Chris Godfredsen

    “I have come,” said Jesus, “so that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I, too, am a leftover – one who has been truly touched by God by a group of people who driven by this sense of having this life Jesus talks about, and offering it to others.

    Count me in on the prayers (even did a little cell phone hazing of them on their journey last evening!) – and may those inmates see genuine love, the love of Jesus, through these guys this week. May they dine wholeheartedly at the Table of Grace!

    Reply
  6. janelle

    Jen~
    I don’t need to sit with them – I AM them!

    Trusting the boys are going to be a blessing as they are blessed.

    Reply
  7. whita

    Took leftover turkey and wrapped it around roast beef and pepperoni then swabbed up mustard with it. Waaaay better than the Day meal.

    Reply
  8. Carey

    Praying for our hubbys! And for the men inside those walls.

    Reply
  9. Darlene

    Oh, I have just prayed, my friend! I love this calling. May his weekend be blessed, and serve as a blessing to those who do not know that He is our Hope.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  10. sharilyn

    what a wonderful post, jennifer. i loved your insight re the leftovers of society… really that’s what we all were until He found us! so glad Jesus likes leftovers, too! (by the way, i was one of the Leftovers voters!)

    i will pray for the men both in prison and going-into prison… that they may be a blessing to each other!

    Reply
  11. Jennifer Dukes Lee

    Hey Rick – Love what you say about the prison between the ears. Surely, there are many in a physical prison who are experiencing more freedom than those on the outside.

    Billy — Good point! Well said.

    Lynn & Chris — Thanks for those prayers!

    Janelle — Amen, sister. I, too, am a leftover, dining with leftovers, but a leftover — through and through. You are what you eat!

    Whit — Thanks for dropping by, old friend.

    Carey — Wonder how Brandy's doing? Whooping it up, I'm sure, with his Praise & Worship tunes!

    Darlene & Sharilyn — God bless you both. Thanks for those prayers.

    Reply
  12. superstar70

    Hello my friend!

    I feel more at home and at peace with people like them…I call Jesus "a friend of the sinners" and that, my friend, is exactly what I am…I will say it loud & proud…without hesitation…Jesus saved me many times over in my times of destitude, grief, shame, guilt, fear & despair…I am among the sinners, the beggers, the outcasts, the diseased, the prostitutes…the ones that society & the judgementalists discarded & left behind…the ones that Jesus will say…Welcome home, my friend, I have been waiting for you…that is what gives my life meaning & hope…I would glady sit with the homeless, tired & hungry at a community banquet than the rich & glamorous at a high society banquet…

    Love you always,
    Tracy

    Reply
  13. Carmen

    Amen Sister!

    i saw your blog via a rather talented individual, George @ Tekeme…

    lovely blog…even lovelier word of encouragement!
    shalom aleichem…

    Reply
  14. Talkin' Texan

    Nice post and a lot to think about. Thanks for the reminder–I guess we are all imprisoned by one thing or another. So glad I know the key keeper!
    May God bless your husband for what he does.

    Reply
  15. Minister Mamie L. Pack

    What another heartfelt blessing. Thank you for sharing this.

    with blessings,

    Minister Mamie

    Reply
  16. Carol

    How wonderful that we all want someone to care about us, and most of us have that in abundance, but for those who don’t know it, Scott, and others like him are making a difference in so many lives. Thank you. Carol

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest