Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Red Bean

In last night's entry, I opened with the fact that I find it hard to believe I have been writing this blog for more than ten years. Tonight, I have another one of these statements. I find it hard to believe I've been part of our Chinese-speaking group of our congregation since 2001, or longer than anyone else. I just don't speak Chinese! One of the traditions we have is that we eat together every Sunday morning at the conclusion of the worship service. The food is always good- pot luck- and is of both the Chinese and American cuisine varieties. I always ask Yanping and Lily, two beautiful young ladies in our fellowship, what they cooked before we get to the classroom where we dine. Today, Lily made a dish of pork and tofu- EXCELLENT! Yanping's masterpiece was a two parter- chili AND cornbread. To say the least, we are well fed with both the bread of life and traditional fare. I'm always full when I go home.

This morning as we ate, I sat with Lily. We discussed Yanping's delicious chili and its ingredients; the tomato base, beef, and beans. I told her you might use pinto beans as well as red beans. Lily likes red beans and she told me why. She told me where she is from in China, there is a custom that if you miss or love someone, you send them a red bean.  We talked about a few scenarios and I decided there are distinct advantages to being Chinese. I really like traditions and China as an ancient land has so many more than the US, a relative newborn in the nation tree. Plus, if you are in a relationship and struggling financially, Valentine's Day would be doable without losing your manhood....or your girlfriend!

As humans, we express love in so many ways, with some being almost silly and some charming and some heart wrenching. The thing we want most seems most elusive, especially when it involves flesh and blood as complicated, or even more so, than we are. And yet, we are made in the image of God our Father. He made us to be with Him but we sinned and left him grieving. How did He show His love and care and longing for His children He missed? He sent the most precious gift, His son, Jesus Christ. God held nothing back to restore the shattered relationship. His restoration is open to all, even to those who have turned their backs on Him. He is waiting with all the love in the universe. There is no greater love. I hope you turn to Him if you haven't yet. And one more thing: I hope you get a red bean, too.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness." 

Norman Cousins

God bless,|
Luke 18:1
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