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  • janetmchenry

On Red Roses and Cheetos

The most peaceful day of the week should be Sunday, right?

So, how do your Sundays go?

Is it a struggle to get kids up out of bed and looking their best? Is there a last-minute shuffle to get out the door with all the things? Or is there a mindset of “do we really have to do this”?

To get to our church on time for the prayer ministry I lead, a 50-minute drive on a good day, we have to leave the house at 7:30 a.m. That means an earlier rising time than any other day of the week . . . hardly a Sabbath rest.

When my night-owl hubby is dragging, I get impatient. Our late departure means we have to hit every single one of those six traffic lights on Keystone Avenue in Reno. It also often means acid drops into my gut, necessitating a pitstop on the way.

I say words. I might even slam a car door. Let’s say, there’s no peace in our house . . . or car. I do not like to be late. Typically, if on my own, I arrive early.

Sunday was one of those mornings again. I got impatient. I said words. I wanted to slam a door. I was pretty obnoxious, actually. Sabbath wasn’t working in me. I was not resting. I was not peaceful. I was pushing my needs and my agenda on my husband.

So I rushed around Costco after church getting this and that. Minutes before he’d cancelled our weekly Sunday lunch date out. He just wanted to get home. I checked out, holding back tears.

I found the car, where he was waiting. I always do the shopping. He loads and unloads. I said no words, but he said five: “I left you some Cheetos.”

Craig has a stash of his favorite snacks in his upstairs office. I like it that way–so they’re not in my eyesight when I’m roaming the kitchen cupboards. He usually has Cheezits and Cheetos and cashews and some kind of cookies. We lock his office door when the grandkids come over–for obvious reasons. He doesn’t mind sharing . . . he just wants a bit of control over the situation.

So, there sat a bag of Cheetos on the front seat console. The peace offering from the offended to the offender. Though I had said the offending words, he chose to extend the olive branch to me first.

Oh, and there were also four dozen red roses in a bucket in the back of the car. They were not a surprise to me. My birthday would be in two days. He has been giving me roses for several years now–Valentine’s, birthday, Mother’s Day. He says he’s making up for lost time.

But the Cheetos. They were the surprise. A gift I wasn’t expecting. And that’s what God does. He gives us roses-and-Cheetos grace when we least deserve it. He extended the olive branch through the gift of his Son Jesus. He said, “I love you and want a relationship with you,” despite our ugliness and not-nice words. There was grace sitting right there in that Cheetos bag and in the guy loading the groceries. I said I was sorry, picked up the bag, and relished each bite of Sabbath peace.

Janet McHenry has known for a long time that Cheetos are the way to her husband’s heart, but she never imagined they’d win hers as well. A speaker and the author of 24 books, she writes on prayer and is the creator of an online masterclass called Prayer School:

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