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Ketchup and Mustard, Please

I stretched my hair net over my curls, washed my hands, and put on gloves. As I walked to the serving station, my eyes scanned the room. Raining and storming outside. A couple hundred people inside. People.

  • Young.
  • Old.
  • Black.
  • White.
  • Down on their luck.
  • Homeless.



A booming voice emerged out of the crowd, “Let us pray.” I bowed my head and listened. In my heart, I prayed, “Lord, please multiply this food.”


And so it began.


  • Burgers.
  • Fries.
  • Bread.
  • Lettuce.
  • Tea.
  • And ice cream.


I had the lettuce. It’s the last on the food line, so I get to hand the plate to each person. I love it! It gives me an opportunity to ask how each person is doing, smile, look them in the eyes, and joke with them about getting their veggies.


I see familiar faces every time I go to Talbot House, and they recognize me. I’m always humbled and moved when I see years of pain, bruises, and tattered clothes on God’s beautiful children.


Someone on my team set out the condiments. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and all the burger fixings.


A middle-aged woman–not more than 5-feet tall–picked up her plate, turned around toward the tables, and stopped.


“Ketchup and mustard?!? That’s rich people stuff.”


She rushed over and piled the condiments onto her plate like a child unattended in a candy store.


Rich people stuff.I don’t know about you, but when I think of the wealthy, I don’t think of condiments. I see fancy cars, a huge home, and other luxuries.That middle-aged woman sees it differently. I have a car and a home. I have ketchup, and I have mustard. Indeed, I am wealthy. 

I may not be where I want to be in life. I may be facing many hardships.


  • Addictions.
  • Hurts.
  • Illness.
  • Financial troubles.


But God has promised never to leave me or to forsake me–whatever my circumstance (Hebrews 13:5). I can take comfort not in the riches of this world, but in the riches of faith, family, friends, food, and yes, ketchup and mustard.



Come alongside…What can you thank God for today? What little things have you overlooked that show how much God has blessed you?



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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.