Grace had a job administering GED tests in a women’s prison. She tells me women inmates are the tougher variety.
One day Grace had forgotten to bring her lunch, and as she was already hungry and knew she would be in the facility for another four hours, she asked the class if any of them would be willing to share their lunch, maybe the parts they didn’t like. Immediately there were multiple offers, and she had plenty. Grace tells me, as an aside, that the food in prison is mainly beige—lots of carbs, bologna on white bread, a little beige cookie with a hole in the middle, and vanilla pudding.
The next time the class convened, the woman who was the alpha spokeswomen of the group requested of the guard that an individual tray be brought in for their teacher. Afterward, she told Grace she had something to say on behalf of the other women. She declared they had been honored that Grace had shared their lunch the other day. Grace, perplexed, replied that it was she who had been honored, inasmuch as they had been willing to share with her. But no, they insisted: She had honored them by becoming one of them—nobody likes to eat their food.
It reminded me of how Jesus was willing to eat beige food with us. There he was in heaven long ago, surrounded by an uncountable phalanx of holy ones doing His bidding (“Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53), and He gave it all up to enter into our skin. Just like Grace entered into prison beige. No wonder the women were moved to collective honor. They had just seen the essence of the gospel played out in GED class.