Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: blood

Will

This is the last will and testament of me, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of Man and Son of God.

I give to all who will believe in my name the right to become children of God.

To all whom my Father has adopted, we give the Holy Spirit. We want them to know they are beloved children of God, and the Spirit will tell their spirits that this is who they are.

Every child of God becomes an heir of God and a co-heir with me, the firstborn.

I give to each child every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Everything I have enjoyed, I bequeath to them. They are citizens of heaven and my Father’s home is their home. I joyfully share with each one the unending blessing that is mine.

Each child of God is seated in heavenly places with me. The Father will lavish His grace on them for all eternity: showing them how abundantly rich His kindness is to them.

I, Jesus, have died to give them life because I love them with outrageous and extravagant love. Their worth is far above the price of rubies. I have cleansed them from sin with my own blood. I’ve taken all their dirty rags of striving and rebellion, and clothed them in my glorious robes of righteousness.

Path: Easter

It was a path on which a donkey trod. Palm branches and coats were strewn along it, the Jewish equivalent of a red carpet for a king.

Last SupperLess than a week later, the path led from an upper room where a special meal had been celebrated among friends, though not all were true, there was an enemy in the camp.

In a garden there were tears, sweat and blood, and then the betrayal of a close friend.

Good FridaySix trials – a mockery of justice – and the bloody trail to an execution hill. Nails, a hammer, and a crown of thorns. Rejection of a Father for the sake of many sons and daughters who would benefit from the One Son’s obedience.

A violent death, a borrowed grave, a hushed holy Saturday.

But Sunday is coming.

Saturday

One of Those Days…

Have you ever had one of those days? When everything that can go wrong does go wrong? I know what you mean…

A few years ago I cooked for a summer mission team running children’s events in Llandudno. It wasn’t a promising start when I went sleepwalking the first night and hid the key to the outside food store. Just slightly embarrassing to have to explain to the leader the following morning.

‘You see, I can remember holding the key in my sleep but can’t remember where I put it.’

Without so much as flickering an eyelid, he put his hand in his pocket and handed over the spare key with instructions to get a copy made. As soon as possible.

(I did find the missing key several days later carefully hidden in one of my shorts’ pockets – which were still in my suitcase.)

It was hard work and by mid week I was flagging. On Thursday morning I slept through the alarm and my team-mates getting up. I woke with a jolt to find the team gathered at the bottom of the stairs asking: ‘Where’s the cook?’

‘Help yourselves to cereal and someone put the toaster on.’ I yawned, hair sticking in all directions, modelling my tartan pyjamas from the top of the stairs.

For lunch, I decided on shepherd’s pie followed by rhubarb crumble. A member of the local church had kindly donated a large bunch of rhubarb which I thought would make a delicious crumble.

I had a busy morning putting on potatoes to boil and cooking minced beef with chopped onions and carrots in a huge pan. I filled some large baking tins with the shepherd’s pie and popped it in the oven. No need for extra veg I decided.

Meanwhile I turned my attention to the rhubarb crumble. My fingers worked the flour, butter and sugar together to make a crumble mix of which Mary Berry would be proud. The rhubarb was on the hob; I forgot it needs very little cooking. I stared at the stringy, watery mess in dismay and cast my eyes around the kitchen for inspiration. There wasn’t enough time to start again. Aha! A spare bag of currants tucked away on a shelf. I stirred them into the rhubarb in the vain hope they would soak up all the water and provide a delicious fruity base for my pudding. Hmm. Not quite. I scooped the whole soggy mixture into oven dishes, covered it with crumble and went to put it in the oven.

Oh. The oven was already full with the shepherd’s pie.

Ah well, I decided, when the serving team dished up the main course, I would hastily shove the crumble in the oven on a high gas mark so it could bake while we ate.

It was not a lunch to be proud of. Guess who’d got her quantities wrong? The tiny helpings of shepherd’s pie looked sad and lonely in the middle of the great white dinner plates.

‘Can we have seconds?’ asked the ever-hungry teenage lads after clearing their plates in two bites.

‘Um, sorry, that’s all there is.’

They stared at me in disbelief.

‘But I’ve made you homemade rhubarb crumble!’

The hungry team cheered up. Until pudding was served. They stared in wonder at their bowls. It looked as though we’d been served hard packed sand with seaweed and rabbit droppings. Not my best effort.

The chip shop down the road did a roaring trade that lunchtime.

Cartoon Chef

‘I’ll cook pizza for tea to make up for lunch.’ I recklessly promised.

I fully meant to have sizzling tomatoey-cheesy pizza ready for when they came in from the afternoon’s beach event.

‘I’ll just have a sit down for a minute.’ I woke up nearly two hours later, with only twenty minutes to make and bake pizza.

I raced into the kitchen in a panic, seized a sharp knife and began chopping onions. And my finger.

‘Aaaagghhh!’ I’m not sure if it was a yell of frustration or a cry of pain. I dropped the knife, ran to the sink and held my now-bleeding-profusely-finger under the cold tap. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stop bleeding long enough for me to leave the sink and get to the first aid box, and I didn’t want to drip blood all over the floor.

What a relief when one of my team-mates walked through the door. Good old Bryn, he’d come back early to see if I needed any help. Within minutes, he’d bandaged my finger, sat me down with a mug of tea, and finished prepping the pizzas.

Amazingly, tea was only a few minutes late. And everyone left the tables full.

Image used courtesy of basketman at freedigitalphotos.net.

 

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