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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kitchen Drama

My waitress welcomed me at my table with red eyes and a wry smile. She asked if I wanted anything to drink, and I asked if she had been crying. She nodded. Things weren't going well today at "the office," and she couldn't wait for her shift to be over. I know those days...

For those of us a bit more experienced than my 20 year-old waitress, we know life goes poorly more often than it goes well. In fact, most of life seems like brief respites of joy or relief sandwiched around hours of boredom and holding back tears...Work, as we joke in our Christian tradition, was meant to kill us...and over the past four thousand years or so we have a lot of evidence to back up that claim...but we all "work" for some reason, and some of the reasons are actually quite noble...

But no matter where we work or how we work or why we work, we all like to work with people who can appreciate our work, even if they cannot appreciate us...and when that doesn't happen? Well, you get waitresses who come to their tables having recently been crying about their work...

So as I fumbled around for a drink order (as if I do not know what I am going to have?), I related to my young server a story about two sisters: Mary and Martha. In our story, I said, Mary always seems like the girl who gets whatever she wants, and Martha has to do all the heavy lifting of life...picking up other's messes, catching things that have fallen through the cracks, always working in the kitchen...but here's the funny thing, the stories are always about Martha, Mary never gets to say a thing...I wonder why?

As she brought me my drink a few minutes later, she smiled at me and said she knew why Mary never said anything...I think--she said--she probably left the kitchen crying...Me too, I said, and in the stories her tears are the blessings of life. Thank you.

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