Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sloppy, Good Service

I found two rotting bananas on a tray in our church auditorium. They were leftovers from Sunday's Fellowship Time. Ellie had been walking around offering fruit and donuts to people in our congregation. Every week she assumes the role of server. She carries trays of salty and sweet snacks to folks as they mingle in hallways and around their chairs. Week after week, Ellie delivers the goods.

Other kids have played the role of server, but none with the consistency and charm that Ellie radiates.  I have a hard time turning down the cherubic six-year old. Her large brown eyes take the teardrop shape of a Precious Moments sketch, and she asks, "You want some?" I grab a donut hole.

Minutes later she returns with a new supply. "You want some?" I snatch a plate of pretzel sticks.

She comes by three more times before the music starts. "You want some?" Apple slices. Chex Mix. Off-brand Oreo cookies. She cannot be denied. (I should have her collect the offering.)

Ellie and her sister Annie at Leesburg Fall Festival.

Ellie is effervescent as she serves, but not flawless. On more than one occasion, I've witnessed her mishandle the tray. Edibles plummet to the floor. And without a moment's hesitation, she snatches them up, repositions them on the tray, and targets the next customer, as if nothing ever happened.

"You want some?"

This is sloppy, good service at our church. We allow kids like Ellie to help at  an early age. We show grace and practice the two-second rule. We eat things we don't want in the name of Jesus. And every so often, we have leftover bananas.

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