Today is a day of leftovers and lines. The typical American refrigerator is packed with plastic-wrapped plates and bowls of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pies. The typical American store is packed with people waiting to have the deals and steals of Black Friday rung up at the registers. Honestly, I do not like either leftovers or lines: a buffet of microwaved side dishes and ‘just a bit dry” turkey would not be my choice of sustenance (although I do enjoy a ‘next day’ sandwich with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce); huddled in the cold outside a box store to save $30 on a TV would not be my choice for late night entertainment (although I do enjoy a bargain). So today, like so many others, I will spend my day eating leftovers and waiting in lines.
There is something good in leftovers and lines that we could try embracing today – humility. I say this because one of Jesus’ earthly interactions dealt with leftovers and lines.
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. Matthew 15:25-28
Perhaps I may be stretching the truth of scripture a bit too much, but it strikes me that crumbs from the table could be considered leftovers and waiting at the master’s feet could be considered a line. As I read Matthews account of this conversation, I notice that this woman is commended for her willingness to bide her time and be satisfied with the sufficiency of ‘the remainders’. She was rewarded for her humility.
Spiritually, it is easy for many of us to be humble, to stand patiently and to savor pleasantly the abundant scraps from our master’s table. Practically, it may be more difficult. In a world where people cut in line and break the rules for their own advantage it is hard to wait patiently for your turn while wondering if there will be anything left when you get to the front. In a culture of abundance where more is rarely enough it is hard to be satisfied with what has been provided while wondering what else might be available. God, grant that we would be humble in our everyday dealings of life.
So join me today as we appreciate the blessing of scrumptious turkey sandwiches and scintillating conversations with fellow bargain hunters. Perhaps we, too, will be commended for our faith and receive all that is lacking. Leftovers and lines may be just the circumstances we need to reflect our confidence in the one who never overlooks a single plea for provision. Perhaps this Black Friday will be a little brighter because we have been chosen to reflect His radiance – through our dealing with leftovers and lines.