The invitation was a whisper. “Come eat. You are hungry.” It was true. I had become ravenous. Mesmerized by the delicious array, I agreed. “I’ll have just a little.” He nodded. We took off our gloves. It was awkward at first, but when hesitation disappeared, we relaxed as cozy friends around the table filled with bite-size delicacies. He had all my favorites. It was a killer tea party.
From the teapot of Rationalizing Refreshment, he poured our cups. I added Comforting Cream to mine, but his brew remained dark and red. I noticed the brand. It’s wasn’t the familiar Celestial brand but another. “It’s my house blend,” he boasted. The beautiful label read, “Temptation Tea.” It tasted like Cinnamon Apple, but with a twist I couldn’t decipher. “It’s my Secret Ingredient,” he said. He explained how he preferred his brand and apple flavor above all others, because it reminded him of his first successful tea party.
Soon, our revelry was in full swing. Many of the goodies he bought from the well-known, Addicting Escapes Bakery. I helped myself to a Cunning Cupcake, and he cut a slice of Devil’s Fool Cake to be sure I didn’t miss out. Before it ended, he urged me to have my fill of Tainted Tarts and indulge in a tray of Sensual Sandwiches. To top it all off, there were many Kisses of Death wrapped in silver paper sprinkled liberally on the table. He collected these, along with other delights, into a “just in case” basket for future enjoyment. “You’ll certainly come back when your hunger returns,” he said knowingly.
The whole time we partied, a warm (maybe even too hot) fire glowed as part of the ambiance. Additional gleam came from the gold that touched everything. It was beautiful. It was fun.
One thing struck me as odd. He prayed GRACE at the end of our tea party. It came out reversed. “I pray to myself,” he explained. “After all, who is in the better position to rule me than me? I know what is best to feed our hunger. To rely on the grace of a God, who keeps making obvious mistakes and can’t control anything, is the worst possible choice.”
For a moment, my heart stopped beating. My host seemed excited about this. I rushed out.
Later, back at home, I experienced extreme heartache. The dainties I’d eaten with the devil made me terribly ill. I had no choice but to call The Healer and explain my condition and regret.
“I’ve been to the tea party, again. I’d hoped to avoid the occasion but I didn’t,” I said between terrible waves of agony.
The Healer came. (Again.) He forgave and explained my condition of Hunger. (Again.) He pointed to Himself and said, “I am the Bread of Life. Without me, you are dead.”
“Take out your Bible and read,” the Healer added. “It is my menu and it will remind you of all the food I have available for you.”
So I read Psalm 141. This is what I found.
“Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me. Give ear to my voice when I call upon You….Incline my heart not to submit or consent to any evil thing or to be occupied in deeds of wickedness with men who work iniquity; AND LET ME NOT EAT OF THEIR DAINTIES…. My eyes are toward You, O God the Lord; in You do I trust and take refuge; pour not out my life nor leave it destitute and bare. Keep me from the trap, which they have laid for me, and the snares of evildoers. Let the wicked fall together into their own net, while I pass over them and escape.” Verse 1, 4, 8, 9, 10.
“Dear Bread of Life, God of Grace,
Please forgive my “tea party” approach to sin—the little ways I rationalize wrong actions, give audience to temptation, uphold self-reliance, and worship worldly “gleamings.” Keep my heart FAR from these stupidities and all other “soul killing” activities. Let me hear Your voice louder than all the rest. Help my eyes to focus clearly on You and my heart to lean fully on Your provision. Fill me up with The Healer’s wisdom. Without You, I am so obviously empty and nothing but The Killer’s fool! Amen.”