When I was a young boy, Easter meant either going to my grandmother’s or driving to Water Valley, Mississippi to my grandmother’s twin sister’s home. We’d go to a sunrise service at the large cemetery on the outskirts of Memphis, have an Easter egg hunt in the huge field of daffodils behind my Grandmother’s house, and sit down to a meal of ham, biscuits, every vegetable known at the time, and cakes and pies galore. There were huge platters of deviled eggs, jello salads, tomato aspic, and along with the desserts — homemade ambrosia. It was quite a feast.
I didn’t appreciate at the time all the effort this took, but looking back I was as fascinated then as I am know with my grandmother or Aunt Lilee saying at least once, but usually more than once, “There always room for one more, pull up a chair.” It seemed there were always uninvited guests or family that showed up at the last minute. The dining room was already overflowing with spare tables everywhere, but for my grandmother and her sister, no one was unwelcome, a bother, or an imposition – “there was always room for one more.”
Looking back, it couldn’t have been that easy or comfortable to accommodate as they made it seem, but in their own way, they were teaching us all an Easter lesson. The unexpected and the uninvited do not necessarily make us comfortable, but we are to invite them in and make them feel welcome, with a warm heart. God asks us to expand our hearts, and make a place for those who hurt us and hurt others — a place for the grace of God to work. As my grandmother would say what’s the point of having all this food and the field full of flowers if I’m not going to share them, “no sense in letting it go to waste.”
God doesn’t give any of us gifts, “to go to waste.”