Pulling back the Iron Curtain for a down to earth view behind that Iron Curtain...
Let’s just get to the bottom of this: the night ended in a disaster. There you have it.
Now back to the beginning…
The Vice President of our organization was coming for dinner! Living behind the Iron Curtain made us deeply appreciative of any visitor, especially one from our global leadership team. Imagine our excitement.
This gentleman’s godly reputation preceded him, and the opportunity to host him in our home afforded a rare privilege. New in his organizational position, he set about traveling around the world visiting our mission’s personnel.
The doorbell rang, and there at our Warsaw, Poland iron gate stood a sight for sore eyes. Dressed in a light brown ultra suede sports coat, Mr. Vice President held a gorgeous bouquet of a dozen pink roses. Such kindness!
After warmly greeting our children, Mr. Vice President and Larry made their way into our tiny living room. I hastily tucked our three children into bed upstairs and returned to the kitchen to put the final touches on our meal.
Horror number one: the menu was absurd. For some overachieving reason, I planned to serve shrimp creole over rice. Mind you, I shopped in a Communist economy where the only shrimp available were (ahemmm…) canned shrimp. C.a.n.n.e.d shrimp. Why didn't I serve pierogi, barsc, kielbasa or gołabki? Any one of these as an entrée, served with cucumber salad and lody for dessert, would have made the meal a cultural success. But no. It had to be shrimp creole.
Horror number two: Following my mother’s recipe, I added vinegar to the shrimp. She used lemon juice, but I did not have lemon juice. Wouldn’t vinegar work just as well? (If you need an answer for this, no answer will do.)
Horror number three: Just before notifying Mr. Vice President and Larry— still buried in hushed, clandestine conversation in the living room—that dinner was being served, I privately performed the ceremonial chef’s taste test. Well…the shock to my system confirmed one’s worst nightmare; the concoction tasted ghastly.
Not to be deterred, I casually sauntered to the living room and briefly (nervously) chatted. From the doorway, as I walked out, I turned and commented that dinner would be just a few more minutes.
Back in the kitchen, I desperately went to work in a race against the clock.
Starting all over, with more canned shrimp, minus the vinegar, I desperately needed God to do what I could not do and make this preparation worth eating. I wish I could tell you God worked a miracle, but I cannot. Long overdue, we eventually sat down to a meal I was embarrassed to serve.
I stole a furtive glance at Mr. Vice President when he took his first bite to see if he gagged. When he kept going, I breathed a sigh of relief. However, he declined seconds. (Do you blame him?)
Pulling Back the Curtain for a down to earth view behind that Iron Curtain, you realize the humanness of one family’s household. Allow me to add that The Night Mr. Vice President Came to Dinner offers a glorious rebound, which will be served in another blog post.
Living With Eternal Intentionality™
When have you found yourself in an embarrassing situation which called for God's grace to "just get through it?"