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The Real Deal

I am a sucker for a dessert tray.  I know the food is usually fake, but that doesn’t matter.  The shinier the fake fudge sauce, the more my mouth waters.

Now, fake sandwiches and quiches don’t have the same effect on me.  Quite the opposite, actually.  To me, they look like the plastic foods you might find in a preschool activity center or mini-monsters you might dream about after over-eating.  The breakfast sandwich Todd and I saw at Barnes and Noble the other day had seen better days, that’s for sure.  Shriveled, separated, and a little fuzzy-looking, it looked like one of the singing sandwich puppets on Sesame Street…or was that a nightmare?  It must be really hard to make fake meat.

I know I’m not the only person who can’t resist a dessert tray.  Last fall, our family went to eat at our favorite Branson restaurant, Danna’s Barbeque.  They make Bananas Foster there, which I have heard is really good.  I have never eaten it, nor will I, because of the dessert tray by the door.

I’m sure it used to look good, but they set it out where tiny tongues and fingers could get to it.  From about ten feet away, it looks all right, but as you get closer, you can see that hungry toddlers, tired of waiting for their meal, have been at it, poking, smashing, and licking.  On one end, there’s a pinched place with a hole in the middle, revealing a Styrofoam center and a substance that resembles blown insulation.  Can’t you just imagine that mother’s face when she realized what her child was doing!

It is an unappetizing sight, to say the least.

You may have noticed that I am very open about the fact that I am a Christian.  That’s not because I want people to think of me in any certain way, but because I’m hoping that they will see the difference that Jesus makes in my life, understand that any good they see in me is only there because of Him, and want to know Him like I do or way better.

The problem is I’m not perfect, not even close, and, for whatever reason, God has chosen to set me in the middle of a lot of people.  In the course of a normal week, I am a neighbor, a teacher, a customer, a colleague, a writer, a minister’s wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, etc., and life gets sticky sometimes.  Like everyone else, I get poked and pinched, and I know that what comes out is not always appetizing, not what you might expect from someone who claims to know Jesus well.  My words aren’t always seasoned right, my attitude can be sour from time to time, and sweetness is sometimes absent.

If ever you find me to be less than you’d hoped, less than I’ve claimed to be, I am truly, deeply sorry.  I know this happens, and I hate that it does.  Someday, when I get to Heaven and God finishes the work He began in me, I will be perfect, but I am a work in progress right now.  Please, don’t let me get in the way.

Go ahead.  Taste and see that the Lord is good.  I promise you won’t regret it!

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