The Fourth of July is a great time to have barbeques, parties, picnics and festivals. It’s a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to get together and chow down some hamburgers, hotdogs, and tons of chips with guacamole. It’s also a chance for churches to have a block party, invite the neighbors over for a bit of Christian hospitality, and show the excellence of Christ by putting their best foot forward and making it a desirable thing to become part of the local concregation. You’d think...
My daughters and I visited a little Baptist church block party around the corner from where we live and enjoyed the free food, games, and fellowship. My girls looked forward to their snow cone desserts and relished the idea of making their own by putting on all the sugary syrup they wanted.
“Daddy,” my 8-year-old said with concern. “This snow cone tastes funny.”
I inspected it and saw that she had already slurped up the syrup. “Put on a little bit more,” I encouraged.
D.D. gingerly grabbed the bottles of grape, cherry, blueberry-raspberry, and strawberry flavorings and poured it on like a mini Niagra Falls.
I happened to glance at the gallon jugs of Smart and Final snow cone flavorings and wiped away the dust covering the expiration date. To my horror the label said: Best if used by April 24, 2004. I inspected another: Best if used by June, 2004. And another: 2006.
“Throw those snow cones away!” I shouted to my precious babies. I snatched them out of their hands and tossed them in the trash receptacle.
I politely informed the snow cone-maker-man that all the flavorings had expired and that they may want to protect themselves by throwing them away. Nothing would be more horrible than to have children die from poisoned snow cones at a church outreach block party.
The snow cone-maker-man looked at me without a hint of concern and said, “How ’bout that?” then stuffed some popcorn into a bag.
I looked into the faces of my beautiful, wonderful, darling daughters and looked for signs of death. None—so far. I thought about the hotdogs and hamburgers we ate and didn’t want to know how old they were. The cotton candy? I could only imagine how many spiders got whipped up in all that spun sugar… My mind reeled.
The words of snow cone maker-man haunted me: “How ’bout that?” No greater disinterest has ever been demonstrated since Pilate asked “What is truth?”
No one made a move to throw out anything.
We made a move—and left the outreach.
Hmmmm… maybe they were saving the best… for last?