Holy Hot Dog

In Fr. Gregory Boyle’s book, Barking to the Choir, he gives us many images of God from his time spent ministering to gang members through Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

The one that stuck with me was a quote from Hafez, a 14th century Persian poet who said: “God and I have become like two giant fat people living in a tiny boat. We keep bumping into each other and laughing.”

That is how I like to think of God.

I like to think about all the times throughout the day that I bump into God. And how much fun that is. I like to think it’s fun for God too. I like to picture us laughing.

I bumped into God last week on a walk. We ended up laughing and singing, me and God. The song: “Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener.”

Let me back up. One of the greatest joys of my life is time spent with our six grandchildren. I am the weird kind of goofy grandma. And I’m ok with that.

God knows that there is nothing more fun for me than to have surprises for the grandkids when they are with me. Last Sunday they were all coming over for the second time since the pandemic started to celebrate Audrey’s fifth birthday. We didn’t have anything in particular planned so I was trying to think of a fun surprise for the gang.
I went on a walk with my friend Jill before they arrived and, on the way, home I gasped when out of the corner of my eye I saw a giant, bright yellow and orange hot dog shaped object in the parking lot of Sendik’s grocery store. It could only mean one thing…. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!

I was thrilled! We went over and had a picture taken (See above) and just stood there in awe.

I couldn’t wait for my kids and their spouses and the grandkids to come over. I had my surprise.

I marched them over in great anticipation of a once in a lifetime experience. Much to my dismay, I found out that the rare sighting of the Wienermobile is only exciting to those 55 and older.

They were all more confused than thrilled. We each got a whistle, and Audrey received a special gift, being she was the birthday girl, of a stuffed Wienermobile! She wasn’t impressed.

Things picked up though when we started blowing the whistles as we marched our way home singing the theme song. Actually, my husband and I were the only ones who knew the words.

Maybe the Wienermobile was more for me than anyone else:  A love note from a God who knows me so well and has a great sense of humor.

For weeks before this event I had been struggling with doubts about God’s love. I knew God loved me but I’d say to myself “God loves everyone, how is that special?” I had become very cynical and doubted the truth of my Belovedness. After much prayer and pondering, God taught me a very important truth. God loves us all and loves each one of us perfectly. God knows exactly what our unique love language is and showers us with love like no other. That tailor made love is what makes us special. That tender love is what makes us the Beloved.

I bumped into God in that parking lot next to the giant hot dog and we laughed.

How does God uniquely love you? Email me and let me know. I’d love to hear your stories, and besides it would be nice to ketchup!


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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