Friday, September 12, 2008

Pass the Jelly, Please!

Looks can be so deceiving! A while back, I attended a lovely dinner program at a nearby church. The friendship was great, the program was inspiring, and the food was delicious. We were in a large room with many ladies seated at tables decorated with linen tablecloths, silver eating utensils, china plates, etc. Just lovely.

The men of the church were the servers for the meal that night. They were excited about the task at hand and were scurrying around making sure that each table had what it needed. The aroma of food was permeating throughout the room. Y'all, I was so hungry! I had substituted that day, and my lunchtime was at 10:30! I think that I had forgotten to eat an afternoon snack, so my tummy was ready and waiting.

Our server brought out the salads first. They looked lovely! Then I realized that there was no honey mustard salad dressing hidden between the flowers, salt and pepper,or water glasses. So, I waited patiently. Sure enough, he came back to our table of 8 ladies. Y'all, he had a squeeze bottle of Smucker's Grape Jelly in his hands! We waited to hear what he was going to say. He simply asked, "Would you care for salad dressing?" In a Smucker's PLASTIC container?? At a beautiful church function??? Had he had a mental moment back there in the kitchen and grabbed the wrong container? No one said a word. Then, of course, I asked the QUESTION. " And what kind of dressing is it?" He responded that it was raspberry vinaigrette that he had made himself. My little 'ol brain was thinking should I let him ruin my lovely salad with something that he had concocted in the kitchen that would possibly ruin the taste? Taking a deep breath, I replied, "Sure, I'll have some." He joyfully squeezed out the berry colored dressing onto my salad--it did look very grape! I thanked him and gave it a try. Y'all, this dressing would have been one that Martha of Bethany would have been proud to have served Jesus and the disciples on any occasion! It was over the top! Out of this world! YUMMY!!

How many times do we pass up something or someone just because of the odd packaging? How many missed opportunities do we give up to listen or to share with someone just because how they look on the outside? I am guilty as charged. I have done this numerous times, I'm sad to say, and I am sure that I miss out on a blessing of giving or receiving just because that person didn't look like those I am used to. 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that "...Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart." (HCV)

The next time that I feel a little uncomfortable about speaking to others to get to know them, I need to remember that squeeze bottle of jelly and simply look at their heart.

Many blessings!


Chatty Kelly said...

Love it! It's so true, we all can do this. That's where the phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover" came from. Of course God said it better in the 1 Samuel verse you referenced.

I too am working on this area in my life. Thanks for the great reminder.

Kimberly said...

:) Hmmmmmm....would this have been at a certain function where I met you? Actually, it may not be. I got there late, so I didn't see the dressing put on! :) But my salad that night sure was delicious!

I love this post! I love how God can speak big truths to our hearts through the smallest of a squeeze jelly bottle! :)

Oh, and I never did answer your question. I am in Spartanburg. :)


Runner Mom said...

Nope, Kimberly! It was a different function!! :)

Where in Sparkle City are you!

My email is we could get together sometime! Hugs!

Amy said...

Hi, Susan. I just found your blog. I have enjoyed visiting. So often we do shy away from what we are not used to. Great Post. Blessings.

The Patterson 5 said...

Thanks for your dressing blessing! It's something I know I need to remember when out meeting new people!

heartreflections said...

Absolutely delicious post! =)

Mari said...

I love that verse in 1 Samuel! And you are spot on. We do often miss blessings because the packinging is what we consider "all wrong". May God open our eyes to see as He sees!

Joyful said...

Wonderful post Susan. How often we 'judge a book by it's cover' and yet behind some uninviting exteriors can be special treasures.

Thanks for your sweet messages to me today. You are beautiful inside and out!!!!

Love ya,

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is great, Susan. You had me glued to your words, just dying to know what the story was going to be. I thought for sure it was going to be jelly but then thought (before I read) how neat it would be if it would so delicious as it would be a great moral.

Yay. This is so true about life. I wonder if the man purposefully contained the lucious dressing in the less than perdy bottle? (Or maybe it was just his gender...haha just joking).

I'm going to remember this when I judge someone, something, or a situation.

Love ya, my friend.

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

How funny! I'll think of you now every time I get the jelly out of the frig!

Glad you tried it! :)

Glad you looked at the heart...and not at the plastic bottle!

Warm blessings,

On Purpose said...

How brave of you to say yes to this man who was squeezing some "homemade" conoction out of a grape jelly container...I am still sitting here thinking I would have had a "no dressing" night...

definitely convicted...thank you girl!

Lelia Chealey said...

I LOVED this post Susan!! The friendships we must miss out in throughout life because one doesn't fit our mold. My son is off on a Youth Leadership overnight retreat and this morning I was encouraging him to get to know people he normally wouldn't fellowship with. I'm praying he meets new and interesting people and makes new friends.
I really loved this post my friend!!
Love ya,
I was thinking about you last night when I saw some Snickers marathon bars in the health section at Wal-Mart last night. God Bless you for running. Perhaps if I walk this extra cushion off next summer we can go running when I'm in NC! :) Ooooo.. a goal for Lelia. Run with Susan summer of '09! ;) You of course would have to slow it waaaaaaaay down.

Leebird said...

Is there really a town called Sparkle City? What a cool name! I learned the don't judge a book by its cover lesson long ago....there are come beautiful people out there in homely packaging!

Kelley said...

What a wonderful story!! I love the lesson here. There have been many times I have thought someone was "different" and then she ends up being one of my best friends!! Maybe I am the "different" one huh? Thank you for sharing your "grape" lesson, it's one I won't forget!!

Have a super weekend....


Chatty Kelly said...

I already left a comment, but I just have to comment again on another Kelley's comment here: "Maybe I am the different one."

That just hit home to me. Wow. That is really something to think about, isn't it??

Sarah said...

Wonderful post, wonderful thoughts. Not only people, but some situation may seem AWFUL until you find that the Lord tucked some yummy raspberry vinaigrette inside it -- like a new friend, or a gift you didn't know you had! Thank you for the beautiful reminder!

Edie said...

You are so right. God looks at our hearts and wants us to do the same with others. Besides, our own heart may not be as pure as the one we are hesitant to speak to. Thank you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The joy of an extraordinary gift wrapped in plain packaging.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?!


Susan said...

Ahhhh, this was really a neat story.

I'm so guilty too!

Thanks for sharing this neat experience, I'll remember this one~

Yolanda said...


Every Day People.....


Carol said...

Wow! How true this is. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you!

Pinkshoelady said...

Oh how this post has blessed me.

Yesterday morning I was having a conversation about judging others from the outside with my daughter Zoie. She was juding another child at school because of her clothers and looks. She is nine and the conversation went great. I was pleased with myself as I went on with getting ready that morning. Zoie was missing in action when time came to help fix lunches and breakfast. After calling her several times and getting a little frustrated too. She came in teary eyed. She said, "I'm sorry mom. I was asking God to help me not judge people when He gave me this verse. It says God doesn't look at our outsides He looks at the heart!"

I was both humbled and floored. I asked her how she found that verse. I thought maybe it had been marked at Sunday School or Bible class at school. She said, "I kept turning the pages and God kept saying "Not yet" until I got to that verse."

What a wonderful and better parent we serve!

I love you my friend! Thanks so much for the prayers!


craig said...

Thanks for stopping by the other day. I loved this stroy. You are posting some great devotional thoughts. I wish you well on the women's and student studies you are leading.

Kimberly said...

Way to go! ;)

This really is a terrific post!
Love and blessings,
K :)

Amy L Brooke said...

Wow! This is a great post. It's warm and inviting and has a great lesson. I loved this part:

"How many times do we pass up something or someone just because of the odd packaging? How many missed opportunities do we give up to listen or to share with someone just because how they look on the outside?"

And you tied it back to scripture. I may have to stop back again.