The Leftovers

Home for me is defined by smell.  Growing up in a community with almost all family, you could go into almost any house and feel at home.  You were welcomed and loved.  Each family treated you as if you were their own.  You knew you were home when you walked in the door and smelled food cooking or a fresh cake baking.  It was not unusual (and still isn’t) to walk into my grandparent’s home and smell cake layers in the oven.  Those were times when you stayed around, even if you thought about going to play.  You could watch Grandma stirring the chocolate icing she had made from scratch.  She would attend oh so carefully, never letting it set as it would not come out as she wanted.  While she stirred, the cake layers would bake in the wall oven.  The home smelled like joy.  If you hung out long enough or if you timed it just right, those cake layers would come out of the oven and that chocolate would be done.  For some, that might mean the cake would be assembled.  But for me, that meant the crumbs in the pans would be left and someone would have to lick the spoon after the icing was poured.  And THAT was victory!  There is nothing like the left over parts in a pan of a fresh baked cake with the leftover icing to make my day.  My heart still beats a little faster when I think about the excitement.  If this doesn’t sound like much to get excited about, it is because you haven’t tasted my Grandma’s chocolate split layer cake.  All she did for each cake took such precision yet she did it as only Grandma can – with such ease and natural giftedness.  She made it look so easy.  Sitting across the bar enjoying the “leftovers” is something I will always treasure.

There have been many times I wanted Jesus to sit across the bar with me and tell me what I should do, what path I should take, and what’s next.  I craved the fellowship with him that is comforting and loving, reminding me that I do not have to be perfect.  I wanted to know that I was loved just the way that I was.  I simply wanted to enjoy leftovers with him, lick the icing, and have him tell me I was good enough.  I just wanted to please him.

I think I might have missed him all along.  Maybe, just maybe, he was sitting across from me…And he just happens to look a lot like my Grandma.

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