Daily Devotional March 27, 2023

By the standards of normal people, Shannon and I eat a very strange diet.  We are whole-food, plant-based, which is code for, “If it tastes good, you can’t eat it.”  Eating this way means being very intentional and a lot of prior planning.  Fortunately for me, Shannon is an excellent cook and I eat well.

Last Thursday, Shannon had surgery for a hip replacement.  I was not worried about her operation because Dr. Allen was her surgeon, and it doesn’t get better than that.

I was worried about the care she would receive after the surgery.  I was worried about me.  Would I be able to stay on top of her medications, make sure I was always by her side to help, and ensure she ate something good when she regained her appetite?

As I sat in the waiting room, asking God for help, I got the following text from Jeff, “So hoping all went well with Shannon’s operation… in response to you complaining about having to take care of your wonderful wife we have some ready to eat chef inspired vegan meals for y’all… these should meet all of your restrictions you have for your diet… let me know when we can drop it off …

Knowing Jeff is God’s continual work in progress, I was a little leery until I remembered he is married to Suzanne.  She’s a saint.  So, I knew everything would be okay.  I should have thought that through.

We got home from the hospital very late so I told Jeff the food delivery would have to happen the next day.

Friday morning, on his way to work, Jeff dropped off the food at our front gate.

When I drove to the front gate to pick it up, I saw two boxes.  The large box said, “Shannon’s Food.”  The smaller box said, “Tom’s Food.”

Looking at my box and knowing Jeff, I started to call Fort Hood to see if the army would send over a bomb disposal unit but then I decided I’d risk it all and open the box.  But first, I opened Shannon’s.

As soon as I saw Suzanne’s name on the invoice, I knew everything would be okay.  It was filled with all sorts of frozen meals from a vegan meal service.  That gave me the courage to open the box with my name on it.  I should have thought that through.

My box was filled with individual plastic bags with writing on them.  These were the contents of the box Jeff had prepared for me.

  1.  A plastic bag labeled Tree Bark.  It was full of tree bark.
  2. A plastic bag labeled Organic Sticks.  It was full of sticks.
  3. A plastic bag labeled Trail Mix.  It was full of grass, pebbles, and dirt.
  4. A plastic bag labeled Organic Dirt.  It was full of dirt.
  5. And last but not least, six packets of roasted seaweed – I’m not making this up.

Yep, that’s the kind of friends I have.

Thinking of Jeff and Suzanne as a couple reminds me of the name of one of our Sunday school classes – Saints and Sinners.  It’s not hard to see who is the saint and who is the sinner.

Needless to say, this couple that represents both ends of the spectrum, brought us food and laughter.  I think this is God’s call for each of us.

When was the last time you did something that lightened someone’s load, made their day easier, and brought a smile to their face?

Paul said, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”(Galatians 6:2)

Today, don’t let the sun set without doing something to make someone’s life a little lighter.  You will be glad you did, and you will bring a smile to God’s face.  Nothing better than that.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please use me to lighten someone’s heavy load.  Give me a heart of generosity to meet someone’s needs, a sense of humor to bring your joy into their lives, and the wisdom to see how I can make a difference.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Today commit to use your unique gifts to help others.  That’s why we are here.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins