Two weeks ago I had a beautiful and humbling experience, and I thought I would share.
I was at Global Maritime and I had just done a routine pick up from a ship to run some of the crew to Wal-Mart. As I was dropping off the first contingent and heading back to the center, a few of the crew mentioned wanting some good food, something they couldn’t get on the boat. I felt their pain and wanted to help.
Flashback with me to the summer of 2005.
I am sitting in the hot sun in the parking lot of a high school somewhere I’ve never been before and will probably never return to. I have just eaten a slimy, over dressed salad and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the bajillionth time.
I’m a member of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle corps and we have been touring the country competing against other corps. We sleep in busses and on gym floors and our food comes from an 18 wheeler that has been converted into a kitchen and follows us around.
As you could expect, we eat very similar, overly processed food every day.
So, having some respect and understanding of the frustrations of repetitive processed foods, I know I have to hook these gentlemen up with some decent local fare.
I droped off the rest of the crew with Jonathan at the center, and told these hungry fellows to come with me. We went to Magazine to get some gas, and I told them that some of the best restaurants in the city were on this very street.
As we walked down Magazine, we chatted about the similarities and differences between their home country of the Philipines and our home here in New Orleans. We talked about parks, schools, family and sports. Eventually, the topic got back around to their life on the ship. They told me how bad their cook was and how he only served dried fish and rice, and I told them that in New Orleans they could have Pizza or Tacos or Vietnamese or Indian, but nothing really sounded perfect.
Then, one of the crew spotted Saucy’s. He asked me what it was and I told him it was a barbecue place. They looked around at each other and came to a silent consensus that this was place. I was elated.
We sat down and the waitress was very patient and kind as they ordered their enormous plates, each with two meats and two sides. I ordered an alligator po’ boy, and the crew were very amused that I was going to be eating alligator.
The food came, and I asked if I could bless the meal.
In that prayer, God opened my eyes and heart to the smallness of the world and the heavenly communion that was before us.
I would ask that those who read this might pray for my heart to be continually open to the moving of God’s love in these relationships, strengthened by the beauty of these shared moments.
-grace and peace