Daily Work

The Spiritual Side of Egg Salad

The Pastor at my mom’s memorial service asked a great question: “What is it about the Egg Salad Sandwiches?” Apparently, after she died, people started telling the pastor that they’d really miss her egg salad sandwiches. Before my mom became bedridden, any time the church got together, my mom could be counted on to show up with her egg salad sandwiches. While the ingredients were simple, everyone raved about those egg salad sandwiches. Her pastor missed out on that joy.

As I pointed out while I shared at her memorial service, my mom had a secret ingredient that didn’t show up on any recipe card: love. She didn’t make those sandwiches to fulfill an obligation to provide something for people at those church get-togethers, she shared her heart as she made them. She made them for her pastor, her fellow deacons or Sunday School teachers, or fellow committee members. She made them for her children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. I’m sure that she thought about each person who’d be eating them as she made them. She loved the people in her church, and she loved her family, and egg salad sandwiches were one way that she showed that love.

Egg salad sandwiches take a little more effort to make than most sandwiches. For most sandwiches, when you decide what you want, you take the bread and slap on a dressing, some meat, some cheese, and maybe add some lettuce or tomato. Egg salad sandwiches are different though. You have to prepare for them. Eggs must be boiled, then peeled. After I rinse off the bits of egg shell that may be left, I dry the egg on a towel, because water just doesn’t work with egg salad. I chop the egg up, or double cut it with an egg slicer. Then, you mix in the mayonnaise, the salt and the pepper, put mayo on the bread, which, according to the Mary James standard, should be the very thing white bread, and finally add the egg salad.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to do something I know my mother would have enjoyed: I made egg salad sandwiches for a get together at church. We’re doing a dramatic interpretation of Holy Week called “Journey to the Cross” by having people welcome Jesus as He entered Jerusalem, go to the last supper, experience His prayer in the garden and His arrest, go through the trial before Pilate, pray at the cross, and experience the joy of the resurrection. The church is providing snacks each night, and tonight was my night to help.

As I made the sandwiches, I thought of the love my mother showed to everyone by making her sandwiches. Then, I thought about the people who would be eating the ones I was making: the cast, crew, and the participants. While I didn’t know who would eat those sandwiches, I prayed as I spread the mayo on the bread and added the egg salad. I prayed that not only would they enjoy the food I was making, that even more so, that God would strengthen their faith or help people begin a walk of faith because of tonight’s event. I can’t say for certain that I experienced the same kind of love that my mother did as she made her sandwiches, but I can tell you that a lot of love was added to the egg salad sandwiches I made.

Sometimes we go through the motions when making or eating food. We say the right words before we eat, or after in the tradition of some, and then don’t give another thought to it. Today, I had a spiritual experience making egg salad sandwiches. I thanked God for the heritage of my family which continues to stay strong. I thanked God for providing the ingredients. I prayed over each sandwich that those who ate it would experience special blessings from God. I was reminded of the great provision God makes for each of us. I’m reminded that I should never take food for granted, especially in a world where it’s sometimes scarce. All because of a sandwich.

Daily Work

Getting Ready for the Memorial

Yes, I’m still around. I’ve been busy with all the things I need to do to get ready for my mom’s memorial service so I haven’t taken any pictures, but I sure have looked at a lot of them! I found the hard drive that had all the pictures I really wanted – or so I thought. Very few pictures were on that hard drive and not many of my mother. Does anybody else have one of those boxes where you keep all your old pictures? You took them while things were happening. You looked at them when you got them back from the drug store after they developed them, (How do you explain THAT to people of today’s generation?) and then you threw them in a box until the next time you decided to look at them – which probably hasn’t happened yet.

There were a few pictures of my mom that I remember distinctly. I’ve seen them in the area of my box. I thought they would be cute for our memorial service. I started pulling out all the pictures from THAT box. I pulled out a couple hundred old pictures before I found any pictures of my mom. It was a lot of work going through those old pictures. Even though I didn’t find the one picture I was looking for, I found a few other fun pictures of my mom that will look nice at the memorial service. Her obituary showed up today in her local paper. My sister did a great job on the writeup and they found a picture that captures her personality better than I found so far! This picture is of my mom, my dad (on the left but you can’t see his face). my wife, and another couple who I think I know what friends they are, but I’m not sure.

My mom didn’t seek the limelight, and she wasn’t in a lot of the pictures I have of my family. I should also point out that someone has said that you need to take a lot of bad pictures before you start taking good ones. When I look at most of the pictures I have, I believe it. I have a lot of bad pictures! But this one is cute. We had a garage sale when we moved from seminary to my first pastorate. Our first child was outside with us in his playpen. People came up, trying to buy the playpen. This sign was my wife’s solution.

Still, it was a lot of fun going through those old pictures. I’m not going to say whose pictures I found, but I’m guessing that my kids will be a lot nicer to me in the days to come. Just sayin’. I also started ripping the old CDs I have. I have a wide variety of classical, Christian, and comedy CDs, and I enjoyed listening to them while I was ripping them. Then, I made my mistake. I closed down my computer when I left for church. Once I got home, it took forever to start back up and then I had technical difficulties. Eventually, I had to do a hard shutdown so I could reboot and hope that this computer will work as it’s intended, not as if it’s auditioning for Frisbee status.