Dr. Fred Craddic tells of the time he was asked to speak in Winnipeg, Canada. When he awakened on Sunday morning to a couple of feet of snow, his host called him at the hotel and said, “Fred this is a surprise to us. There is so much snow, we can’t get to the hotel to pick you up so we’re going to cancel the lecture series.” Fred said, “what shall I do?” His host said, “well a block and a half to the right of the entrance of the hotel, there is a bus depot. I know there is a deli in there and you can get something to eat there.” Craddic said the place was packed but when he went in, some people moved over and made room for him. Many people in there were just in to get out of the cold. He said he ordered a bowl of soup and a few minutes later someone opened the door and a shout came from inside the deli that said, “hey shut that door, you’re letting all the warm air out”. Then came a rather unkempt woman. A couple of people made some room for her, she sat down.
A large man with a greasy apron came over and asked in a loud voice, “What do you want?” She said “I’ll just take a glass of water.” He sat the water in front of her and said, “now what do you want?” She said, “The water is fine.” He said, “lady what do you want?” She said, “Water is fine”. He said, “Look, lady, there are paying customers in here. Either you’re going to have to order something else or get out.” She said, “Can I just stay in out of the cold?” He said, “No you have to order something, or leave.”
Slowly she scooted out of her seat and started to leave. But when she did, the person on her right and left also got up to leave. Then the persons on each side of them got up to leave. And pretty soon everyone started to leave, and the man in the greasy apron said, “All right come on back you can stay”. She sat down and he even gave her a bowl of soup. Craddic asked the man beside him, “Who is that lady?” The man said I don’t know, but if she’s not welcome I’m not welcome. Fred Craddic said you know, as I started to eat that soup it wasn’t so bad. The matter of fact, it reminded me of something I had eaten before and I couldn’t figure out why it tasted so familiar as I ate that bowl of soup. He said I left that little deli and I looked back at that woman sitting there in that atmosphere I remembered what that soup tasted like. It tasted like the bread and wine of communion.