"Truth, Honor And Salt & Pepper Sandwiches"
(By Joseph Walker)

7-29-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #401

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

Well… as you may have noticed this weeks story is LATE(er than usual ;-). Wednesday our computer fried it's motherboard and power-source (sigh). It was more expensive to fix than to get a new one (double sigh). No problem (I thought), I'll just use the church Laptop! Unfortunately the distribution list on that machine was over a year old and many of the current e-addresses were missing or changed, or defunct. So… I had to go buy a new computer and pay to have everything transferred from our old hard drive (still intact thank God!), to the new one. That on top of just buying new glasses this week so I could see again, and over $700. in unexpected vehicle repairs… well, suffice it to say that this past week was somewhat more “of this world” than I would wish on anyone else (except perhaps a number of US politicians who would just make Us pay for it anyway ;-).

So… If you noticed this week's S.O.W. was late and were anxiously waiting for it… here it is. (If you didn't notice, here it is anyway. <smile>)
Pastor Daniel

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
Truth, Honor And Salt & Pepper Sandwiches
By Joseph Walker

Bud worked at Automobile Association of America, while Wanda worked at the Hills Brothers coffee plant. Their combined income gave them enough money to make their rent payment of $37.50 and to meet monthly expenses, with precious little left over for niceties, you know, like food.

Still, they weren't as bad off as some people thought the day Bud opened his lunch pail and found two pieces of bread wrapped in paper with nothing between them but a smattering of salt and pepper. Even Bud was somewhat taken aback by the meager offering, especially when considered alongside the hard-boiled eggs and other treats that rounded out the lunch.

Word quickly spread about "poor Bud," who had fallen on such hard times that his wife sent him a salt and pepper sandwich for lunch. Anonymous donors left food gifts on his desk. And just before he went home, his boss called him into his office and gave him a $10 raise.

Bud found the whole thing rather amusing, and couldn't wait to tell the story to Wanda when he got home. But instead of laughing the matter off, she was horrified.

"That salt and pepper sandwich," she blustered, "wasn't a sandwich . . . it was just the best way I could think of to send salt and pepper for your eggs! If you think that I'd send you to work with nothing more than..."

"Now hold on," Bud said good-naturedly, "I told you that I enjoyed the rest of the lunch. I even enjoyed the salt and pepper sandwich."

"But it wasn't..."

"I know it wasn't," he said. "And you know it wasn't. That's all that matters, isn't it?"

"But those other people think we're starving. And your boss..."

"Gave me a nice raise," Bud interrupted, "which I deserve. So what's the problem?"

"The problem is there are a lot of people out there tonight telling their families about the poor man who had a salt and pepper sandwich. They believe something about you that just isn't true. And I don't think it's honorable to let people go on believing something that isn't true."

Bud just laughed, which, it turns out, was exactly the wrong thing to do. Wanda's eyes began to fill with huge tears, and she ran into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.

This was a new experience for Bud. He knew Wanda could be emotional, even a little exasperating from time to time. But he had never seen her so all-fired hysterical, especially over something that seemed inconsequential. I mean, this wasn't about truth or honor, was it?

He stood outside the door for a moment, wondering what his next move should be. Before he could do anything, she emerged, her eyes dry and her nose freshly blown.

"Dinner will be ready in a few minutes," she said briskly, as she hurried past him and into the kitchen. He heard a bit of rattling and slamming that seemed to indicate that meal preparations were underway. He was about to tell her that he hoped she wasn't fixing anything too heavy, because he was still full from all the food he had consumed at the office during the afternoon, but he thought better of it.

He needn't have worried. Soon Wanda brushed past him again, this time on her way to their bedroom. "Your dinner is ready," she said before slamming the door shut.

A little confused, Bud wandered out to the kitchen table, where he saw a single plate at his place. On the plate was a sandwich ­- a salt and pepper sandwich, to be precise. And next to it was a hastily written note in Wanda's distinctive script: "If the whole world is going to think we eat salt and pepper sandwiches, then we're going to eat them!"

Bud reported the misunderstanding at work the next day, and he still got his raise. And that's the truth.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
You are all the children of light; therefore stumble not into the misunderstanding entanglements of mortal suspicion and human intolerance. If you are ennobled, by the grace of faith, to love unbelievers, should you not also equally love those who are your fellow believers in the far-spreading household of faith? Remember, as you love one another, all men will know that you are my disciples.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-191 Section-4)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help us the better to understand one another.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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