“And that’s how we left it,” Sam said to his wife.
Phyllis had listened to the end of the story in silence. She was looking over his shoulder towards the restaurant’s kitchen.
“Honey, did you hear what I said?” Sam asked. Its not that loud in the dining room.
“Sweetie, I just realized what’s been buzzing about in my head. You ordered steak, today’s Ash Wednesday. You should have had the fish.”
“Uh-oh.” It was an expensive piece of meat, and he was as hungry as a lion. “I forgot.”
“Yes, but I just put you on notice. And here comes the waiter.” Who arrived with a serving tray on one arm.
“Madam, here is your fettuccini. And sir, your salmon … Oh dear, you really ordered the prime rib, didn’t you?”
“Let me take that back and get you the steak, no extra charge. I am so sorry.”
Sam looked up at him and smiled. “Actually, I’d rather have the salmon. Thanks anyway.”
(trigger warning: read no further if you don’t like unsolicited advice)
P.S. I had an insight this morning that I wished I had 20 years ago. When we give up something for Lent, there is a temptation to self-sufficiency. We say “I am giving up” such and such, are we engaging in self-justification?
If you are trying to do penance or give up something this Lent, ask God to help you carry it out. Its really his grace enabling you doing it anyway, not your strength alone.
And he said unto them: Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days declare the riddle.
We are more fortunate, in that we have 40 days to ponder the riddle’s solution.