Fat Tuesday

Lent is upon us. The powerful and profound time of the church year which calls us to a closer relationship with Christ. I feel compelled to write, because my lenten journey is now complete. In fact, all the spiritual growth and fulfillment I could handle was taken care of the night before Ash Wednesday. Yes folks, I found Jesus on Fat Tuesday at the Old Country Buffet.

Please do not laugh. I am sharing a powerful spiritual experience with you now.... It happened like this.....

I pulled up outside the strip mall. There, nestled in between a gift shop specializing in NASCAR collectibles and a quaint little store with a sign that read, simply, "TOBACCO" was a large temple of love. I did not know what pulled me there or why. It was an invisible force, but I knew I had come to the right place when I saw 2 signs that read, "Tuesdays kids eat free" and "Tonight is steak night." My eyes welled up with tears. I was not sure what to do next, but God had a plan. A large cargo van pulled into the space next to me. 10 Children hopped out. I thought that would be enough of a sign..... after all, Jesus said, "Let the children come to me." right? I could have followed them. But God knew that my "thinking like a lawyer" heart would need more convincing. 2 minutes later the lift from the van was lowered, and a very large woman in a power scooter was lowered to the ground. Two (also very large) men assisted her. She had quite an impressive moustache, and so I figured that this was as close as I would ever get in this day and age to the 3 wise men. I followed them all inside the door.

When I got inside the door, I realized I was going to be waiting in a rather long line for awhile. I marveled at how great the sight ahead of me must be...all of these people waiting for so long just to catch a glimpse. My eyes welled up again. I was moved by the anticipation and the witness of so many people.The line did not seem to move at all, so I asked a man ahead of me, "What's taking so long, and why are so many people here." He must have been moved too, for it was at that moment that he screamed at his girlfriend "I don't owe you any more f*&king support! And I want my Dale Earnhardt Jacket back too you bi*ch!" I waited patiently for his response. He paused, looked at me, and replied, "The line is so f*%$king long because its almost the first of the month you dumbass!" Truely, our god is an awesome god.

Finally, I paid my admission, and was given clearance to behold the glory that appeared before me. Islands and islands of chafing dishes and heat lamps as far as the eye could see...... Hundreds of people, all throwing one another out of the way, pushing their way to the warmth of the lights. I just had to be part of the healing. I set down my purse, threw off my coat and anything else that could have hindered my speed, and grabbed a plate- still hot from the dishwasher- and made my way to the salad bar. I had no problems there. I guess these people must have known that Jesus was nowhere to be found among broccoli and other such wastes of culinary time. I started to panic. The children, the 3 wisemen, the abusive boyfriend prophesying in the line, and the glory of the lights..... I was sure this was where I was supposed to be! Where then, was my salvation!!??

A riotous sound directed my attention across the room. A crowd had formed around one of the islands. I made my way over. I did not know why, but I knew I needed what was there. I pushed my way through many of god's people: women with shirts that read, "It's not PMS, I'm just a bitch", men who wore "I'd rather be fishing" and "I live with fear- occasionally she lets me hunt" hats. I kept going. My faith led me to throw 450lb children out of the way. One even tried to put ketchup on my arm and take a bite. But I ignored the pain, for just as the paralytic found his way to Christ, so I would too, for our Lord said, "Behold, Your faith has made you well."

Finally I beheld the glory of god. I knew what all the excitement was about. There was Jesus. And there he was to share the supper with me. Around him were trays of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy and...... (I'm close to tears as I say it now).... fried chicken. Jesus handed me a fried chicken leg and said, "Do this in rememberance of me."

I was speechless. But I collected myself, and calmly said, "I am not worthy to recieve this lord, but only say the word, and it shall be so." He smiled at me and said, "Go my faithful child, apply salt and pepper and gravy, for today, I am well pleased."

No comments: