Myrtle’s Brown Bag
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Myrtle’s Brown Bag

Myrtle was a community novelty.  Her odd ways did not place her on top of community invitation lists for weddings and social events.  Yet she somehow knew when events were occurring and would show up in her very plain dress and with a brown bag to collect food to take home.  It was not that she did not have enough.  She had a steady job.  Modern psychologists would probably say she had arrested development with childlike characteristics.   Most people were standoffishly polite to her, halfway afraid she was an angel God sent to test them.  No one wanted to show up on judgment day and find Myrtle standing by the right hand side of God’s throne knowing they had not been nice to her.  And so when she appeared uninvited at functions no one rebuffed her but pretended they didn’t see when she filled her bag with the leftovers.

The first time I saw Myrtle was at my wedding.  As part of the wedding preparations a very lovely bag of nice things was made ready and given to Myrtle.  Surely there would be no need for her to feel the embarrassing necessity of gleaning the reception hall.  However as my new bride and I were about to leave I looked across the room and there was Myrtle filling her brown bag.

Myrtle was little different than most of us.  God has prepared a banquet for us and we prefer leftovers.  Instead of opening our Bibles and reading for ourselves we depend on preachers and teachers to tell us what they ate of God’s wonders when God has a full bag prepared just for us.

Written by Roger Bothwell on December 10, 2003.

Spring of Life, 901 Signorelli Circle, St. Helena, CA 94574