Soggy Bottom Leftovers

Soggy Bottom Leftovers

“Why do we always invite the soggy bottom leftovers?” moaned
our daughter one Sunday afternoon after our guests had left. You see, each Sunday morning I would fix a big salad, a
dessert and a casserole and put it in the oven and set the delayed start timer
so that it would be piping hot and ready to eat after church. Then I would confer with Greg on how many
guests we could invite to our table for lunch and off we went; trusting the
guest list to the Lord. We would compare notes on the drive home to see who and
how many were coming (casseroles do stretch).

Our table has been graced over the years with an incredibly diverse
assortment of people. Some were new to
town and new to the church, some were just passing through, some were a
familiar face but not really known to us, some were old, some very old, some
young, some inbetween, some dear friends, most total strangers, some high
class, some low class, some in great need, others starved for conversation,
each with a story.  But in our
daughter’s estimation all were ‘soggy bottom leftovers’ and wearisome to

So how do you answer a question like that? Off the top of my head, and thanks to the
Holy Spirit, I said, “Didn’t Jesus tell us to invite over those who cannot
repay us?”

She was underwhelmed, and grumpy. I was unmoved. We kept up the practice and our lives have
been outrageously enriched.

Our daughter went off to college and we received a phone
call one Sunday not long afterwards.

“Mommy. Guess what? I
am a SOGGY BOTTOM LEFTOVER. I have been going to the same church for a month now and no
one really talks to me, no one invites me home, no one knows I exist. I am so sorry for complaining about all those
people you and Daddy invited over for lunch every Sunday. Now I

Mary Jane Grooms