Advent: Think Small


Day 6: I’ll Take a Side of Crumbs

I watched in amazement as the Thanksgiving crowd devoured the spread on the dessert table. As they dispersed, I realized there was nothing left for me—just crumbs

My daughter walked up to me, a smudge of frosting betraying her part in the feeding frenzy. “Mom, I’m sorry. We didn’t think about you.”

I wiped the frosting away, and smiled. “That’s okay. I like the crumbs.” Then I reached for a spoon and began to scoop up the remnants of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting.

Later, while I was scraping the dishes, getting them ready to wash, I came on the cake plate—and I remembered the earlier conversation. How often do I settle for the crumbs? We usually think of that in a negative, limiting, settling way. But a woman came to Jesus one day and those around were disgusted with her presence. She was a foreigner…a Gentile. 

She came right up for Jesus and begged for a healing for her daughter. Jesus picked up the disgust around them and played along. Why should he give her anything? The spiritual food he was sharing was meant for his people. But she reminded him even the dogs were entitled to crumbs.

Eating the crumbs had become my way of enjoying what was left and watching my family enjoy the rest. For the woman, anything she could get from Jesus would be enough.

This holy season, what is our “enough”? Can we appreciate the moments, the gifts, the time with family and friends? And most of all will we find enough in the manger?

TO PONDER: Have you ever settled for less than you wanted? Have you ever had to persist in your faith journey when others doubted or gave up? 

TO DISCUSS: Psalm 23 paints a picture of God as our all-providing shepherd. One of the verses declares his provision is completely adequate: we have everything we need. Is there a difference between our wants and needs? Do we have everything we need?

PRAYER: God, you loved us enough to be born here on earth. Show us how much that is. Help us to persist in our love for you…and always find you to enough for our every need. Amen

Getting Ready for Reunion

WP HS 40 yrs

August 8 is rapidly approaching.

My 40th High School Reunion.

How can it be that?

Did I blink?

Did I slip into some kind of Brigadoon?

Am I really staring at turning 60 in two short years?

So many questions. So little time.

Some days I feel like I’ve lived five different lives, and then it’s like I haven’t lived at all.

One of the ways I sort through thoughts and feelings is to put the words out in front of me. I do my best thinking out loud.

Today’s Reunion Thought: Angst Revisited

WP HS no more angst

Definition: noun
1. a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.

I will never forget walking up the sidewalk by what was then the practice field. It was wide and long…very long, and I was having trouble breathing.

I was sure I would never forgive my father for uprooting me from the place where I felt like I was finally starting to connect.

I didn’t know anyone here. I was sure no one would ever want to know me.

Mustn’t cry. But I wanted to cry and to run. Life was over. I was sure of it.

WP HS crowded halls

And so began the awkward angst-filled dance called High School. All the struggles with wanting to fit in, wanting to be liked and loved. The only moments when I didn’t feel alone were the moments when I happened to sit with a girlfriend in the bathroom weeping over the latest break-up. “What’s wrong with us?” we would cry.

Oh the battles with the monster “Enough.” Never smart enough. Never thin enough. Never enough.

WP HS coffee

It wasn’t until many years later when I got together with two friends from the ‘Burg and listened to them that I realized how un-unique my feelings were.

I’ve been doing some online reading about the experiences of others as they struggled with the whole reunion battle. Should I go? Why bother?

It seems the older we get the greater the need to look back. Who would have thought that what lies ahead would hold scarier moments than first loves won and lost, first jobs, and first wings of freedom.

Someone likened going to a reunion to getting a ‘do over.’ I can live with that. I’ve been living my do over for several years. And some of that process and growth has actually been helped by unexpected connections I’ve made on Facebook.

Here’s what I’ve decided: Life has been good. I have had my share of challenges, and enough disappointments, failures, and shame for three people–not that I was trying to hoard it. But my focus here on out is where it needs to be. I’m counting my blessings and thanking my God, especially that my dad yanked me away from where I was comfortable and planted me somewhere I could flourish.

So to the class of 1975, let’s enjoy this occasion.

WP HS 40 acronymn

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