Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting Rid of the Cherry Coke - by the Rev. Bob Orr

I was on my back from Indiana when I stopped at a large box store and bought a case of Cherry Coke. There were more than twenty four cans . . maybe thirty six. I have a weak place for Coke and have almost weaned myself. But this was a bargain and I was weak so I bought it.

Back home in Michigan I put the whole case in the downstairs "second" frig and only one or two cans upstairs in the convenient frig. I told myself that way I'd have to work at getting them. Well as it turned out I was drinking one or two a day and had consumed about a dozen when Kathie said, "You know that's empty calories." She was right, of course. And I knew it. At the time of purchase I had gone back and forth several times in my mind whether to buy the Coke, before I fell off the wagon.

Now was the time to remedy the situation. What to do? How to get rid of it? We had made food donations a couple of times to a soup kitchen located in a Baptist Church nearby. That was the place. So I stopped a day or so ago, feeling good about getting rid of the rest of the Coke but also realizing that I was "passing on" the empty calories to others. I went ahead anyway. I found the church, knocked on the door during lunch time and a woman answered who was directing the program. She graciously accepted my donation.

I took a quick look around and saw twenty or thirty men sitting at four long tables eating their lunch. As I walked to the exit, one of them, bearded and missing part of one finger on his hand, stood up from his meal, extended his hand to me and said "thank you". I had delivered "empty calories". That was no cause for thanks in my mind. But I was moved by his gratitude, shook his hand and vowed to myself to return with a "real food" donation next week.

"And when you do it to the least of these, you do it to me", Jesus said. I know I can "do" better by the man eating his lunch in the Baptist Church and to me and to my Lord. Abba, forgive me.