THOU SHALT NOT COVET…

24 Aug
…HAMBURGERS.
 

When I was in sixth grade, I went to a small Lutheran school in New Orleans. Our school didn’t have a cafeteria, so each student brought lunch from home and ate it at his or her desk. Every day I carried the same meal in my blue snap-down lunch box:

            Baloney sandwich on white bread. (This was before whole wheat bread was “invented.”)

            Small bag of potato chips.

            Thermos bottle of tomato soup.

            Moon pie.

Robbie Buckner sat to my right. He never brought a lunch box to school. At noon each day, his mother delivered him a hamburger from the restaurant down the street. In those days my family was relatively poor, so I got to eat a hamburger at a restaurant only a couple of times a year. Robbie ate them every day.

Each lunch period I was forced to smell his hamburger. I watched in agony as Robbie opened his mouth wide and chewed off a mouthful. I was tortured as I listened to him smack each bite, while I forced a baloney sandwich down my own throat.

 

 

             Paul said, “I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’” I would not have known about coveting if it weren’t for Robbie Buckner’s hamburger.

I memorized the Ten Commandments in this Christian grade school. I could say the tenth by heart: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Ex. 20:17).

With my head I learned not to covet, but with my heart I learned how to covet. I know that hamburgers aren’t mentioned in the off-limits list in the tenth commandment. I didn’t covet my neighbor’s house, wife, servants, ox, or donkey. But that last phrase did me in: “or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Yep, that includes hamburgers.

And who is my neighbor? Anyone outside of me.

 

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 59-60)

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One Response to “THOU SHALT NOT COVET…”

  1. JENNALACEY August 26, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    HI, I\’D KILL TO HAVE THAT BURGER RIGHT NOW LOL. IT WOULD GIVE ME 4 MEALS FOR SURE LOL HAGD

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