Friday, December 17, 2010

The Day of the Lord's Visitation

I'm on vacation this week and have been spending my days lounging around the house. (Note: Adjusting to retirement will be no problem, trust me.) Anyway, this morning Joyce shared this story from "It's Almost Naptime". The story is well worth the time to read it, so (unless you don't mind my spoiling it) go check it out.

So now that you've had your chance to read of Shep's concern for Buxton's eternal fate (and you've no doubt come to recognize the urgency of the Great Commission -- for lo, none of us knows the day or the hour when the Lord [or Maggie] will call us to give account for our fishy lives), I was reminded of a long-ago mealtime adventure with our boys. Exactly why Missy's story brought my story to mind is a bit unclear, even to me. Maybe it's just that Shep's focus on things spiritual reminds me of our son James's spiritual precociousness. James, at an early age, was very interested in Jesus and spoke of Him often.

Now for the story. James hates broccoli. Always has, and apparently always will. He gave voice to his aversion as soon as he could craft coherent sentences: "I don' yike trees." Now understand, James was hardly alone in his opinion of "trees", but (whereas our youngest son Ben thought hiding unfinished "trees" in unfinished milk a workable solution to the problem) James was more spiritual in his approach to the the dilemma of how to obey the command "children obey your parents" while simultaneously avoiding gagging. One day (when he was probably five years old or so), he decided we needed to set a place for Jesus at our table. Thinking to myself: This could be an opportunity to talk to the boys about how Jesus is our unseen guest in even our most private moments, I granted James's request and Joyce laid out the Lord's place setting.

After everyone had been served (except Jesus of course, who -- after all -- came to serve, not to be served), we thanked the Father for our food and began chowing down. It was then that James became alarmed at the utter unfairness of the Provider of our feast being excluded from the actual caloric content of the feast. James tipped his plate over the Lord's and declared, "Here, Jesus can have some of my food." And oddly enough, the Lord's portion seemed spectrally weighted toward green.

So I pointed out: "You do realize, James, that if Jesus eats your broccoli, He also gets your dessert -- right?" Despite my flawless logic, James seemed hesitant to accept such sound reason. But in the end, logic didn't matter -- that old Scriptural imperative on children's duty to parents trumped all objection, and James somehow managed both his and Jesus' share.

There's a sermon in here about how anxious we all are to give the Lord things we'd just as soon do without, but I'm not going there. Rather, the real point is: I now realize that James is a better person than I am, and -- like Jesus -- he won't be inflicting Satan's vegetable on his children.


joyce said...

I think we even have pictures---little guys caught in the act of hiding food under their hats...

Bob said...

You're right. I'd forgotten that Ben also stuck broccoli under his "hat" (a.k.a., the bun cozy balanced on top of his head). We need to dig out that picture -- but not tonight.

Bridget said...

That was to cute. I love your son! My brother-in-law.