Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jesus Shows Himself in a Birthday Gift

This story has four actors:  Jim and Joan, a married couple, Father Ed, and Jesus.

It was Jim's birthday, and Joan wanted very badly to make from scratch her husband's favorite dessert:  blueberry pie.  But her eyes were dilated all day and she was unable to accomplish it, and so she cried about the missed opportunity.
Meanwhile, their friend and pastor, Father Ed, was doing what he did very well every day:  praying to Jesus for direction for the day.  It's notable that Father Ed's prayers, as frequent as they are, are more fruitful than most.  He actually gets inspired to know how to spend his time for the benefit of Jesus' kingdom.
He knew that it was Jim's birthday, and so he went to a local bakery with the intent of buying a birthday cake and taking it to Jim and Joan's house.  It being late afternoon, the bakery was out of cakes, and so Father Ed was sad that he had to settle for a simple blueberry pie.
A few minutes later, Father Ed showed up at the door of Jim and Joan with a happy birthday, and apologized that he was unable to find a birthday cake, but had only a blueberry pie.
The reaction from Joan was... well, you can imagine.

Here's what I noticed about this situation:
1.    Jesus did not share with Father Ed the full story.
2.    Despite Father Ed not knowing the full story, he still carried out the task that he believed came from Jesus.
3.    There was a moment that Father Ed must have questioned whether the instructions really did come from Jesus: the moment when the bakery said that no cakes were available.  But, and this is important to note, Father Ed did not lose faith even when the 'facts' contradicted what he thought the instruction was.  By carrying out Jesus' task anyway, the far larger mission was accomplished.  All parties saw Jesus' hand in that gift, and felt Jesus' love for all of them.  Had the Father Prus instead brought a standard birthday cake, that punchline would not have been realized.

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