New Pass

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The New Pass Grill sits on a strip of beach overlooking Sarasota Bay in Florida. A modest shack with a large following, it serves simple fare such as burgers, fries, fish and chips, and beer to the line of people snaking along its deck. Just next door is another shack where one can purchase live bait for a fishing excursion in the bay.

On this Good Friday, I stood in line with the lunch crowd at New Pass and reflected on the great goodness of a savior who would suffer and die an agonizing death for every single soul, even all the oblivious people down here vacationing, overeating, getting sunburned. No one here seemed to be praying or pondering the momentous nature of this holy day.

I should have felt guilty, but all I felt was an inexplicable joy and fondness for all the people I saw eating, drinking, laughing, and talking. Not the personal fondness I feel for family and friends, but a feeling born from the recognition that Jesus loves them so incredibly much that he willingly gave his life for them, whether they pay attention to him or not.

Humans – in all our imperfections, needs, weaknesses and cravings – hold a spark of the divine. Each of us is on a path, a journey that we hope will lead to peace and love.

The sun shone and the breeze blew outside the New Pass Grill as I sat with my two girls on stools facing the sparkling blue water of the bay. I filched fries from their baskets and reminded myself to pray in thanks for the most precious gift I have ever received.

A Good Friday indeed.

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