A couple weeks ago, a story on a national news morning show caught my attention. It featured a high school student who had reached the limit of debt on his/her lunch account and instead of the usual school lunch, received a “sandwich of shame”. It was bread and cheese. Other students and parents, as well as many, many people across the United States, were outraged, using words like “mortifying” and “embarrassing” and “offensive” to describe the “humiliation” of such a thing.
I guess I was raised differently. When I was in elementary and middle school, I attended what we called “Thursday Night School” (a weekly class for Christian education) at our church which followed our normal day of public education. Our church was out in the country and the school bus would stop at the church to drop off those of us attending. We would usually arrive about 30 minutes before our classes started. Luckily, my grandmother lived across the road (word to the wise: never mess with a grandmother who lives across the road from your church!). So, every Thursday at 4:00, I would get off the bus and go to Grandma’s. She also insisted that anyone else who was waiting for class should come over too.
And she fed us.
Did she put out a feast? No. Did she set the table? No. Was she there personally? Not always. What was there?
Bread and Cheese.
And maybe some cookies.
If she wasn’t there, there was always a note. Kindness and love … pure and simple.
I guess I look at a cheese sandwich and I don’t see a “sandwich of shame” but one of generosity. Thinking back now, I sure hope I thanked her often enough. Just in case, I will say it now:
Thank you, Grandma, for your hospitality, generosity, faithfulness and love. I miss you. ‘Til we meet again.
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