"Erma's Chili"--placed 3rd in FW Competition

During fourth-grade recess, you could find me by myself swinging on the monkey bars. A certain girl would always migrate in my direction to sit along beside me, or to watch the other kids play on the playground.

She was a pretty black girl. Her name was Erma Johnson. 

My heart skipped a beat when I first saw her on the playground. She had sparking brown eyes, smooth dark-skin, and her smile could light a dark sky. She was tall for her young age, and when she spoke my name, my heart would melt like snow. I couldn’t believe she actually wanted to sit with me.

Erma followed me everywhere I went and we shared several classes together. I liked all the attention I got from her. She would also sit with me at the lunch table in the cafeteria.

One particular day, Erma sat down at the table. She batted her big brown eyes at me. “Hi.”

What she did next proved to change my life forever. We had chili that day for lunch. Erma took her little bag of saltine crackers and crushed them with her hands. After that, she poured them on top of her chili. 

I hadn’t seen anyone crush crackers over the top of chili before. With her spoon, she mixed the crackers up in the chili. She looked up at me with those brown eyes and pointed her spoon at me. “Try it; I think you’ll like it.”

I crumbled up the plastic packet of crackers, tore open the little pack and poured them into my chili. I mixed it all together in my bowl. It seemed to accent the chili into another realm of great taste, with just the right combination of crunch and saltiness.

Although older now, I still crush up the saltines in my bowl of chili. I find myself salivating when looking down at that rich mixture setting before me. “Mmm Mmm good!”

When I think of Erma now, I am thankful for the sweet childhood memories of turning a boring chili dish into a savory experience.

As Christians, we should be the crackers in God’s chili.

We are called to be the salt of the earth. That is why we are here. Matthew 5:13 (MSG) In our own way, the flavor of God should accent our lives to a lost and dying world. 

It is our purpose and destiny to be salt-seasoned. We should bring out the God-flavors to season everyone around us. The more time we spend with God, The more God’s flavor will be evident in our lives.

If we lose our saltiness, the world will not know the flavor of God.

He has called us to reach out, being seasoned in our words and by our deeds. This is what the grace-filled life is all about. 

God’s amazing grace resides upon us and inside our hearts. In essence, that is the perfect saltiness that differentiates us from the rest of the world. 

Dear Jesus, help me to be salt-seasoned in Your mercy and grace. Show me how to spend quality time in Your Presence. Then, use me to reach out to those who are lost and hurting. In Your precious and most holy name I pray, Amen.

Authors Note: The story in this devotion is loosely based on actual facts.

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