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“Grace Invasion” (h/t to my friend, Bryan K. Watson)

January 31, 2014

It is easy to become skeptical of one’s fellow-man, if you watch or listen to too much news.  I try not to, and I try hard; every once in a while, however, God kind of jump-slaps me on the back of the head with the reason I’m in this thing.  And He does it in some of the most interesting places…

So, this morning, after I talked with a surgeon about something I am hoping he’ll do Monday, I stop at Krispy Kreme (confession to my wife:  Yes, sweetheart, I went to Krispy Kreme and had donuts this morning. I am still stressing a little bit…).  There’s only one Krispy Kreme in town; it was next door to the hospital I visited.  And, the Krispy Kreme donut being an eighth day creation of Almighty GOD…well, you know why I stopped.

Anyway, so this guy walks into Krispy Kreme right behind me, and since I was on the phone, he walked around to wait to be helped.  As I got off the phone, I heard him ask, “How much is a cup of coffee? I have a coupon for a free donut with a cup of coffee.”  THe lady tells him the price of a small coffee, and I could see his shoulders drop a little as he quietly uttered “Oh…” and started to feel around in his pockets.  So I stepped up to the counter and said, “I’ll get your coffee, bruh.  What donut do you want?” (This is NOT the cool part of the story.)  SO he thanks me, and gets his donut ordered, as do I.

So we walk around the counter to the register, and as I’m getting ready to pay, the man (whose name was John) looks me dead in the eye and says, “Thank you for reflecting God this morning..  I haven’t seen a lot of that lately.” (this is NOT the cool part of the story.)  THEN, as I’m swiping my debit card to pay, the lady manning the drive-through window walks over, palming a bill of unknown denomination, and puts it in his hand, saying “The lady at the drive-through window asked me to give this to you.”  He steps around me and waves across the counter and out the window, and yells, “Thank you, ma’am!” and comes back to get his stuff. (This is NOT the cool part of the story…”

So, we walk over to the end of the counter to the cream and sugar, and we talk a little more as we make our coffee drinkable.  It turns out that today , January 31, is his father’s birthday, just as it is my oldest daughter’s birthday.  THEN, an older African-American lady walks over to him, and holds out coupons for a free donut, no purchase required, that expire today.  There were like fourteen of them!  He takes them, thanks her profusely, then turns to me, takes two off the strip, and holds out the rest, and tells me, “There’s no way I could eat all these donuts today.  Is there someone you can take donuts home to?  I hate to see them go to waste.”  (Now we are getting to the cool part of the story.)

There was nothing I could do with that many donuts (I love my family, and I would NEVER take a box full of donuts home to a house full of women. Just wouldn’t go well.)  so there are three guys standing there waiting to order; I turn to them and ask them if they could use the coupons, since they hadn’t ordered yet.  I gave away the twelve to those three guys, and left with my coffee.

So, what was the cool part, exactly?  Just this:  the face of Christ kept popping up, over and over, in that Krispy Kreme!  Christ was there in John, who was just trying to get some breakfast and a little coffee.  Christ went through the drive-through, feeding the hungry.  Christ was there again in John, (loosely) paraphrasing Matthew 25:31 ff. And He was present in the little lady with the coupons, pulling off a mini-feeding of the five thousand!

And all this in South Memphis, down the street from Graceland, where the more genteel among us here in Memphis might fear to tread!

We are accused of a lot of things here in Memphis, many of them unflattering.  But I am here to tell you that I saw Christ, over and over again, this morning, down the street from Graceland (how appropriate!)!  And I saw total strangers reach out to each other, recognizing each others’ dignity as human persons, and acknowledging the presence of Christ in one another!  And it all happened anonymously, and quietly, and over the course of about seven minutes.

That was…cool!

“…how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many.”
 Romans 5:15 NABre

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