Refrigerator Rites - Encouragement Café - January 31, 2018

Refrigerator Rites
By Dawn Aldrich

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV

Our downstairs reeked of sweaty boys, Mountain Dew, pizza, and Doritos from their all-night LAN party–the male version of a slumber party where they eat, belch, pass gas, laugh, cheer, scream, and play online computer games until dawn.

Our dining room looked like NASA’s control room, (thanks to my techie husband), where testosterone-driven boys, connected by power cords and flashing screens, fixed their eyes on other-world action and threw themselves into the game.

We only had four rules:

  1. Wear headphones after midnight.
  2. Keep the noise to a dull roar.
  3. No one leaves the house.
  4. Help yourselves to anything in the refrigerator.

The last rule was the hardest to follow. Refrigerator rites were personal, like snooping through someone’s dresser drawers; you just didn’t rummage around another person’s refrigerator and help yourself.

But, this rite served two purposes in our home: first, it relieved me from hostess duty. Second, it made the boys feel comfortable – like home.

Some were fatherless and I knew what that felt like – how important it was to have a safe place to escape the stress of a broken home – even for a few hours.

It was a place where they could participate in a whole and healthy family – where both parents lived happily under one roof. Refrigerator rites declared, “You’re part of the family, part of the whole.”

God offers us refrigerator rites, too. He adopts us as His own children through the blood of Jesus, and says, “You’re part of the family. What’s mine is yours. Help yourselves.” How many of us shy away, feel like we’re eating a piece of forbidden fruit if we take anything from God’s refrigerator?

Maybe growing up without a daddy makes it awkward? We might need more time growing comfortable sharing the same bag of chips before we help ourselves to the last bagel without asking.

One morning after one of these LAN parties, I found a dollar and a note pinned to my ‘fridge. It read, “Dear Mrs. Aaron’s Mom, sorry, I ate your last bagel. Here’s a dollar. Ben.” I chuckled and gave him back the dollar.

Maybe we’re like Ben, uncomfortable taking something from God without offering payment, knowing the value of what God’s offering? Take some time to let this sink in and to give that up to God. Embrace the thought that you are part of the family, even if you don’t feel like you deserve it.

Lord, Help us to simply accept our place in Your family. May we know we have a place around Your table. May we spend more time with You until sitting in Your presence feels like home – enough like home that we can help ourselves to anything in Your refrigerator. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2018 by Dawn Aldrich. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 31 January 2018.