Admittedly, I only went for the cake. Yep, I donned my long undies, brought a bag of extra warm clothing and some work I knew I wouldn’t look at, and stood in line for the cake.
At the Nothing Bundt Cakes company birthday party a few weeks ago, the first 22 people willing to freeze in line at any franchise would receive a punch card, good for a free bundtlet once a month for an entire year! Arriving about 2 hours early, I realized I was over the 22 mark but was told sometimes they distribute extras, so I was encouraged to stick it out.
Suddenly it occurred to me I was freezing with folks who were all about securing a quality product at an incredibly low cost. Hey, they may be interested in our Gardens on the Go program! The woman behind me immediately asked for the church address. “910 S. Collins,” she spoke into her phone, as I surged with pride. Then she went on to ask more: how many bags would be available, what time to come, how does the garden work, etc. Upon learning she could not only receive a bag of fresh fruits and veggies for just $5 but help in the garden and learn from the pros, she became downright gleeful. She then turned to explain everything to the women behind her and invited them. “Are you coming to her church tomorrow?” she asked.
But then, just as suddenly, her joyful countenance fell. It took me a while to catch on that the final coveted free cakes card #22 had been distributed. We were not among “the chosen frozen.” Indeed, I was only 4 people away from a year’s supply of Nothing Bundt Cakes. Deep depression set in until I remembered I was a Christian and had every reason to remain hopeful.
The next day I arrived late at Gardens on the Go. But the lady who stood behind me in line had already toured the garden, eager to learn, eager to volunteer, eager to prepare for all the promise Harvesting Hope affords her as an apartment dweller. We hugged as long-lost friends, then realized we had no clue as to one other’s names. “Carlotta,” she said. “Carol,” said I. Almost simultaneously we shared with jovial church members gathered ‘round: “We wanted cake, but the Lord knew we needed fresh veggies and fruit.”
Healthy stuff. True fruit. Relationship fruit.
In whatever lines we find ourselves throughout this Advent season – trying to remember Thanksgiving comes first, waiting, expecting, hoping - let us “Prepare!” Expectantly, we will end up with much more than we dared hope. Jesus came for relationship, not birthday cake.