Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lunch with God--part 2

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about having a lunch date with God. The idea evolved when I planned to spend alone time with Him after attending the Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore in Hershey, PA. Lunch with God was experienced at the one and only Hotel Hershey. We went to one of the hotel’s casual restaurants, The Harvest. You can read about that decision in my previous post.

Seated at a wooden table near a large picture window, I watched the cotton-white clouds float over a stunning blue sky. A large tree in the field behind the building was just sprouting its leafy buds and a sea of greens in the far background finished off the picturesque view. Beautiful.

Lauren, with her smiling eyes, introduced herself as our waitress and told us she’d be serving us today. She described the daily specials as she poured icy cold water from a large pewter pitcher, which she left on the table for refills. I drank some, and it washed down the lingering chocolate taste in my mouth from my pre-lunch appetizer. Lauren said she’d be back with our bread and butter. Ahhh, the food of life. My stomach rumbled at the thought of indulging in the bread basket instead of skipping it as usual. The Harvest was already proving itself worthy.

Lauren was back in a moment and placed the steaming basket on the table, enticing with the scent of yeast and all things bread. It was accompanied by a dish of softened butter piped onto the plate in the shape of a heart. Love on a plate. I unwrapped the maroon napkin to discover four different types of bread, and I started with the multigrain roll, which I lavishly smeared with the love-butter. Crunchy, nutty, warm, decadent.

So far, so good. Chocolate, icy cold water and warm bread. God knows what I like.

Looking over the menu, I decided to order something I usually don’t choose. A burger. This wasn’t just any old hamburger, though. The menu promised juicy 100% Angus beef, prepared to my liking (medium well), with toppings of my choice. Buttery grilled onions and mushrooms, of course. Oh, and lettuce and a slice of tomato to top it off. A side salad of crisp greens served with tarragon vinaigrette finished off the meal. I told Lauren my order. She poured more water.

I enjoyed the next bread indulgence while waiting. This time I had a slice of spicy moist pumpkin bread with a crusty, sugary coating. Yum.

My next hunk of bread turned out to be like a mini scone, buttery and slightly sweet with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. It melted in my mouth.

“God,” I said, “I appreciate the metaphor now about Jesus being the BREAD of life. That’s a good one!”

“Glad you like it!”

Soon my meal arrived in its artistic deliciousness.

The burger was served piping hot, its beefy perfection resting on a slightly toasted sesame roll, with caramelized onions and grilled mushrooms on top, just as I requested. I cut it in half, took a bite, and savored. The meat was simple, fresh, and insanely satisfying.

And the salad? Crunchy freshness on a plate. Sometime I think salads taste better just because someone else made them. This one was probably made by one of God’s angels. Did you ever have tarragon vinaigrette? Such a unique combination of flavor for the crisp greens. I had the last hunk of bread from the basket with the salad, this time a savory roll with peppercorns and other spices I enjoyed and hadn’t tasted before. It was an exquisite complement to the salad.

I was full after eating half the burger, and saved the rest for later. I asked for a to-go box. Lauren even packed me more bread with softened butter to take with me. Nothing better.

Sporting a mean sweet tooth, I surprised myself when I didn’t order dessert. I was truly full, satisfied, loved. Lauren returned with the check.

It totaled $18.13. What a bargain, just what I love.

Beth Moore spoke about food during the conference. God really does give us food to enjoy. I not only enjoyed it, but experienced it.

Have you ever experienced a meal?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lunch with God--part 1

I attended a Beth Moore Living Proof Live event in Hershey last weekend. It was a time of life-changing bible teaching along with extraordinary worship by Travis Cottrell. These events are held all over the country, but this time it was extra fun being in Hershey, the land of all things chocolate. Chocolate and God, what more could I want?

I spent not only one day, but a bonus afternoon and evening on my own in town. Alone. It took a little while to get used to the idea. I’ve always attended these types of events in a group setting but this time I was flying solo.

The event ended on Saturday afternoon, and it was time for a lunch date. With God.

Hmm, where would God take me?

None other than the Hotel Hershey, of course.

I secretly wondered if I’d find an extra $20 floating around, just for fun. I figured God was paying for lunch, right? Spotting the signs for the hotel entrance, I turned left into the driveway. Perfectly manicured trees surrounded by precision-lined tulips in bright colors served as royal subjects for the magnificent hotel at the top of the hill. I parked my car and a light breeze accompanied my walk up the steep sidewalk towards the entrance of the grand lobby. Giddy with excitement, I practically skipped to the concierge desk to request a lunch reservation for two—ahem—one. One human reservation. Indulgence awaited. Looking around, it was evident to me that God knows how to have a lunch date in style.

I made our reservation for 30 minutes later, which gave us time to browse the picturesque fountain lobby and first-floor shops.

This was near the window of the first gift shop we passed:

“God, you have a great sense of humor to go along with that sense of style.”

“I know, Lisa. I know.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot. You know everything, don’t You?”

God and I then stopped in the coffee shop—an unspoken assumption. He arranged for today’s flavor of the day: chocolate. We found a little table in the cafĂ© and sipped, enjoying the coffee and company.

It was time for lunch so we headed through the lobby to the back of the hotel. We had to walk out of the building down a path to another building where the restaurant was located. Once we opened the back door of the hotel, my eyes feasted on a sea of tulips in pinks, purples and yellows. It was gorgeous and I couldn’t stop staring. Stunning both individually and in bunches.

“Yup, I made the tulips for you to enjoy, Lisa. Pretty, huh? Just like you.”

We entered the brick building of the restaurant. The Harvest Restaurant.

“Nice name, God. Your idea?”

“Yes, I’m sure it was. You are part of my harvest, Lisa.”

In front of the hostess’ podium was a table with a large bowl full of miniature chocolates. Like a little child, I grinned, grabbed a handful, and immediately unwrapped one to enjoy.

The hostess asked my name for the reservation. Pausing so I could finish chewing my chocolate, I gave her my name and mentioned I was enjoying my pre-lunch appetizer. She smiled warmly, and handed a menu to the waitress who brought me—ahem, us—to our table for lunch.

“Guess you don’t need a menu, God.”

He smiled.

“Will you please stand by the window so I can take a picture?”

God posed for me. Can you see Him?

I looked over the menu. Oooh, I couldn’t wait. What to order? In my next blog, we’ll talk about the food. Yum.

Where would God take you for your lunch date?