Grace for Breakfast

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I walk to the corner market almost every day to get my cultural fix. Not only does the little Mexican market have the best and cheapest produce in town, but the lusty Latino music brings out my inner Salsa, which I keep to myself. Mostly. I do tend to walk the aisles with a little more wiggle, and have sometimes thumped melons to the beat, pretending to be checking for ripeness. Sadly, the music becomes well-behaved as more customers show up.
The panaderia trays, stacked high and sweet, with cheese-filled rolls and breakfast breads typical to hispanic appetites, chant in Latin, “Carpe diem! Carpe panem!” At the far end of the market is a counter where men in work boots sit with mugs of Nescafe and platters of what look like sacred offerings to Mother Mary: eggs and tortillas, crowned with slices of avocado, tomato, and fresh cheese. A bottle of hot sauce stands at attention, nearby.
On a recent summer morning, when the sun was already giving off more than its fair share of heat, my five-year-old grandson and I walked to this market, greeted along the way by neighbors engaged in the daily therapy of hand-watering their lawns.
As we entered the market, we met milk and honey on the other side: a small freezer full of creamy Mexican confections: fresh strawberries n’ cream, rum raisin, rice pudding and mango. Well. It WAS breakfast time, so I solemnly explained to my grandson one of the many blessings of being a grandma: I could decide what we’d eat, and when. So one cantaloupe and a pound of cherries later, we were out the door with our two icy breakfast bars. His, the rice-pudding flavor, which he immediately pronounced to taste just like gag-nog (his favorite drink), and mine, a raisin-y mellow yellow with rum flavoring. We sauntered home to the backyard hammock, and lay there, pretending to be squirrels.
Pushing my toe against the dirt to keep a slow swing, and licking a drip forming on the edge of my ice cream, I thought, “Right here, in the middle of straight-laced, law-abiding Salt Lake City is this oasis, this…Grace. Law says, “Stick with the known, the predictable, the safe. And no dessert until after dinner.” Grace says, “Let’s Dance and have ice cream for breakfast!”
Through Jesus Christ, “… you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. ” Romans 6:14 (NLT)
Yes, there’s a need for law- but I am so glad Jesus fulfilled the law, so we can have grace for breakfast. And Lunch. And Dinner.

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