“Don’t forget your coat!”
Jeremy ran up behind me and wrapped me in the fluffy down-filled coat. Colorado is quietly cold in the winter. The sun is no gauge for the actual temperature. I bundled up, grabbed the homemade Whole Foods salsa I picked up, though I promised homemade salsa, and we were off to a dinner with 4 other friends, some of which we hadn’t seen in nearly 6 years.
We settled at the table and I secretly wondered if we’d have enough conversation to carry us through the night.
“So who did you all vote for?”
Justin passed the question to each guest with such thoughtful grace and nonchalance you would have thought he asked us our favorite color. The compassion that carried the question allowed each of us freedom to respond. Disarmed. And we all responded, even though we were finding we were on different sides of the fence.
But there was this grace…
We moved into conversations about babies and jobs and new year resolutions and then,
“Hey, have you all been following the Syrian refugee crisis? Thoughts on what we should do?”
We all took our turns answering, each one of us got a say. We were thoughtful in our responses. Patient in our listening.
The questions kept coming in-between bites of guacamole.
“What about your thoughts on what the Bible says about same sex relationships?”
“Do you think the Church has it wrong? Are we the Pharisees?”
“What does it really look like to follow Jesus?”
It was a dinner that had the most charged, potentially divisive, questions I’d ever been asked in one meal. And it was a meal where I had experienced unprecedented amounts of peace.
Costly grace has no bounds.
While our answers varied and at times even stood in opposition, what was clear is that each person at this table loved God with their whole being. Each person at this table was actively and fiercely working out their salvation with fear and trembling.
What carried weight at the table was the fleshed-up human soul. What we saw were not just answers, but a table filled with little Christs. Just like C.S. Lewis spoke it,“Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
Grace dressed this table. And more than ever, I want it to dress my table.I want a grace at my table that is unforgettable. A grace that asks hard, relevant questions and sincerely wants to hear the answers from each person. A grace that responds, “The work of the Spirit in me, honors the work of the Spirit in you.”
I want a grace at my table that is in proportion to the sacrifice Jesus had to make for us to receive this scandalous gift.
I want a grace at my table that pardons an adulterous woman, that is a revolving door for notorious sinners, that ladles soup to the outcast.
I want a concentrated grace – not that watered-down stuff mixed with all my presumptions and personal ideals.
Jeremy and I got in the car after 5 hours of talking and eating and game playing. We sat in silence most of the way home and then I had to speak it, “That was…”
I paused trying to find the right word until it found me, “…amazing.”
- 1 can whole tomatoes (trust me!)
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 tsp Garlic powder (or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¼ cup Chopped red onion
- 1 Whole lime juiced
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse to your preferred consistency. I like to pulse about 15-20 times. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. It is especially delicious after being refrigerated for an hour or two.
- Store bought salsa is always welcome at my table. But when I have just a few spare moments and the ingredients – this homemade salsa is Queen. And it is irresistible without being fussy.