Wednesday, January 26, 2011

mac daddy and cheese.

At first, I was having trouble figuring out what I was going to blog this week because I didn’t have any ideas. Now I’m having trouble because I feel like I have so many things to choose from. This week has been a huge contrast to my last…almost year and a half. I think I’ve chosen my subject.

I’ll begin with a little moment from my night last night. I went to see Iron & Wine and Laura Marling at the Wiltern with Meesh (one of my closest friends). Thanks to CIRCLES lunch on Monday, Shea and I discovered we would both be there and we were able to meet up and enjoy the concert together. She was with three friends and we were all introduced to each other. The concert was really beautiful. Afterward, Shea invited Meesh and I to join them at a diner called Fred 62. We met up there, had a great time, and ordered some food. Meesh and I decided to share the “Mac Daddy and Cheese.” Classic.

Our food finally came and as soon as everyone had a plate, I grabbed a forkful of macaroni and, no sooner than it was between my lips, realized that everyone was staring at me, holding hands, totally silent.

We were going to pray.

I was pretty embarrassed and tried to remedy the awkwardness of the situation by removing the bite of macaroni from my mouth and laughing apologetically: “Sorry! I’m not used to hanging out with Christians!” Not so smooth. I tried to explain that indeed I am a Christian and loved that they wanted to pray before eating, but failed, and so we began. Prayer, eating, conversation. It wasn’t a huge deal to anyone else, but for me, to have a group of random people pray before a meal at a restaurant was pretty significant. I pray in restaurants when I know all the people and am generally aware that we all share a Christian belief, but would never expect to without knowing who else was sitting at the table.

In my past year and a half in New Orleans, I cannot think of one single time that I prayed with others before eating.

I know it seems small, but the moment signified a new thing God is doing in my life. In Isaiah 43, the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” My desert and wasteland in New Orleans was my community of peers; all we did was get wasted together. Most of our conversations were centered on the bars we went to, the party last night, who hooked up with who, how many shots we took. I prayed all the while for God to reveal a Christian community to me, or else to give me the strength to leave it all behind. I left it. God is showing me now that His word is good, that He won’t let me down. The moment at Fred 62 was just one moment, but these images and gatherings of Christian people that I truly enjoy, have fun with, connect with—they’re springing up all around me.

There’s so much more I’d love to share about how different things feel since Saturday, even about the conversations we had over dinner that night, but I’d like to process them more before I post about them. For now, just a simple, semi-embarrassing story and my most sincere happiness about getting to be a part of CIRCLES and getting to engage in this stuff together.


  1. i was supposed to be at that show! my flight got delayed and i missed it. so bummed. also disappointed that i missed out at fred 62 and the new friendships springing up around you. God is doing a new thing in us all!

  2. Oh my gosh. I absolutely love this post. The simple things in life like that make all the difference! This is only the beginning and I'm already excited to see the things that God is doing and will continue to do in and through your life =)

  3. bayley i already love you so much! i'm so excited for our friendship, God's timing is so incredibly rad. you forgot to tell them it was spicy mac daddy and cheese, but not really.

  4. Sounds delicious. And why does that sentence sound creepy?

  5. bayley,

    i totally know what you mean about the empty conversations that spring from friendships built around partying. one of the first things i noticed after hangin with christian friends is how refreshing it is to talk to people who actually care about you. praise God for fellowship and walking with other christians. glad to hear your about your joyful experience :)

  6. This prayer before meals thing happens all the time to me with other pastors. It's like, are we going to pray? or aren't we? We all know we don't HAVE to, but should we? Shouldn't we? Are you going to? Should I? What happens if I just go ahead and eat? And round and round it goes.

    So awkward.

    This is a great post. Funny, honest, and insightful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  7. I do this all the time! Right when everyone gets food I just want to chow down, but then I realize sometimes people were waiting to pray.. So I've been there done that. You know though, I have always never really understood why people pray before meals. Like I understand it is to give thanks to the Lord for what he has blessed you with, but I feel that most of the times it is simply habit that we pray before meals. I feel that it is a going through the motion of we need to pray first, rather than truly realizing how blessed we are to not be starving. This always is the question that comes into my mind when I think of this.

  8. Awkward moment.
    Amazing life-aware moment.

    Such a simple thing, but I got chills. Looking forward to getting to know you as you enter this new season of life.

  9. that has happened to me many times....hah

  10. that was just the verse I needed to hear. thank you.

  11. so rad, thanks for sharing! what an amazing step of faith to leave what you knew in nola and to trust that God would provide you with community you needed and wanted.

    also this is random but i am pretty sure i went to high school with your brother....