Saturday, January 28, 2012

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch . . .

John 6:26
Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill."

Miss Betty, a spry 80-year-old, is frugal with her money. When she buys something, she always gives the item, and her budget, careful thought. So, it is rare when she decides to treat herself to lunch at a restaurant.

It is two months since Miss Betty's surgery to correct a blockage in her intestines. She is feeling the best she has in weeks and decides a celebration is in order.

She gets in her car and heads to the local Cracker Barrel. It is a Thursday, and this means sweet potato souffle is a featured side dish. It's one of her favorite comfort foods.

One in which she can't wait to indulge.

As usual, the popular restaurant, known for its southern-style cuisine, is hopping with diners. But, because she is by herself, Miss Betty is quickly escorted to a two-seat table by a window.

The efficient, pleasant waitress attends to her within seconds of her arrival. Miss Betty gives her order promptly and settles in with a book to wait for her food.

Not ten minutes pass before her meal, with the coveted sweet potato souffle, is served. Miss Betty eats leisurely, relishing every bite. She purposely does not finish her lunch. Why? The waitress has temptingly mentioned that blackberry cobbler is the special dessert of the day.

Yum! She just has to try it!

With her lunch remains boxed up and ready to go home with her, Miss Betty digs into the delectable cobbler. No disappointment here!

The waitress is passing by. Miss Betty asks for her check.

The woman turns and smiles warmly.

"Ma'am, it's already been taken care of."

Miss Betty's fork clatters to her plate. She looks around the restaurant frantically, searching for a familiar face.

"She's already left," the waitress tells her. "Took care of the tip, too. Enjoy your afternoon, ma'am."

Dumbfounded, Miss Betty gathers up her purse, book, and leftovers and heads for the cashier's desk.

She approaches the young lady behind the counter.

"Excuse me," she says, "but, my waitress just told me my bill was paid for. Do you know who it was? Did they say why?"

"She didn't identify herself," the cashier replies, "but, she did tell me why she wanted to cover your check. She said you reminded her of her mother who passed away last year."

Miss Betty's eyes fill with tears.

"Oh, what a kind, caring person she must be! I so wish I could thank her."

"I'm sure watching you enjoy your meal and remembering her mother is all the thanks she needs."
In today's scripture, the crowds follow Jesus not because of who He is, but because he gives them a "free lunch". Did any of them ever think to say, "Thank you"? Was it thank you enough for our Lord to watch them enjoying the meal His mighty hands had blessed and broken and shared? To whom have you offered a free lunch lately?

Will you pray with me?
We thank you, Father, that Your beloved Son, Jesus, paid the ultimate price to save us from our sins. By His Word, we are fed; by His love, we are healed. As we go through life, may we never miss an opportunity to show His grace to others through generosity and kindness. Amen.

Psalms 35 or 138, 139:1-17 (18-23)
Genesis 18:1-16
Hebrews 10:26-39
John 6:16-27


  1. I am nourished by sharing God's Word with you everyday.

    You have such a wonderful prayer here and I've been staying with it before we ate dinner tonight. God feeds us and fills us in every sense.

    1. Melissa, I love seeing you here and so appreciate all your wonderful insights. I have responded to all, I hope!
      I am so gratified in knowing you are nourished in sharing God's Word with me. What a blessing this is for me! I am so humbled . . .
      Love knowing you always pray with me. :)
      Blessings always!

  2. Martha, what a lovely story. This is love... heartfelt, spontaneous, generous, and never expecting recognition in return. Love for the sake of love. Wonderful well written post!
    Sending Love!

    1. Thank you, Leah, for stopping by and for you beautiful compliments.
      Love for the sake of love - isn't this the most marvelous thing? It's those random acts of kindness that make me have faith in humanity.
      Love and blessings to you!

  3. Beautiful and very touching Martha...I loved it.
    Jesus prayed this prayer: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves to be wise and clever, and for revealing them to those who become as children."
    Each day should be a day of thanksgiving to God and a lifestyle among God's people.As much as we complain about things going on in our lives, we need to stop and thank God each day for all the blessings He has provided us with! And if you're even thinking what have you got to be thankful for, you need to look straight up each day and thank God for your salvation!

    1. Hi, Alpana! Lovely as always to see you here and to read your comments.
      I love that prayer! Reminds us all again of how we must become as little children to enter the Kingdom . . .
      I've probably said this before, but it bears repeating: Having a "gratitude attitude" is everything! When we live in a state of thanksgiving, we are content with ourselves, with our world, with each and every blessing God gives to us.
      And, yes, amen, to thanking Him daily for our salvation!
      Love and blessings!

  4. Hi Martha:
    What a sweet story. It is so important to thank God for all the gifts that come our way. Even in our most challenging moments there are gifts. We simply have to dig deeper to find them. This story was indeed a gift today.

    Thanks for sharing your blog with all of us.

    1. Thanks so much, Chris, for stopping by!
      I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, that it was a gift to you today - my heart is humbled . . .
      And, yes, count our blessings, always, as you said in your recent post!
      Blessings to you!

  5. Ohhhh that just brought tears to my eyes..if each one of us just did this once what a wonderful world of love it could be....As always...XOXOXOXOOX

    1. Hi, Bonnie, so glad to see you here today!
      Yes, I agree, the world would be a much better place if we acted toward each other in generosity of spirit. So glad this story touched your heart. :)
      Hugs and blessings!

  6. Such a touching story, Martha. Yes, with God we have nothing but endless free lunches, don't we? :)


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