American history is replete with colorful characters notorious for their lifestyles of excess. Few captured the imagination of the American public as Diamond Jim Brady. A railroad tycoon at the turn of the 20th century, Brady was renowned for his prodigious appetite as well as his business acumen. His favorite restaurant was Charles Rector in New York City. The owner boasted that Brady was his “best 25 customers”. A typical dinner was as follows:
Two or three dozen oysters
Few servings of green turtle soup
Two whole ducks
Six or seven lobsters
A sirloin steak
Two servings of terrapin
A variety of vegetables
A platter of pastries
A two pound box of candy
This was all washed down with a gallon of orange juice or lemon soda. And this was only dinner! Brady had an equally voracious appetite for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, and a late afternoon snack!
His love of food was further piqued by a colleague who boasted of a famous dish at a Parisian restaurant. The recipe was a closely guarded secret but Brady was insistent on having the dish served to him at Charles Rector. What could be done?
The owner responded by yanking his son out of Cornell University and sending him on a secret mission to the famed Parisian restaurant to work as a dishwasher. Within two years, the son worked his way into the inner circle and learned the secret recipe. As soon as he procured it, he returned to New York city. An anxious Brady met him at the pier, shouting, “Did you bring the sauce?”
The dish was Filet de Sole de Marguery. After devouring nine portions, Diamond Jim Brady is reputed to have said, “If you poured some of the sauce over a Turkish towel, I believe I could eat all of it.”
Brady’s request sent into motion a series of events where the owner of the restaurant sacrificed the career of his own son so that he would embark on a clandestine operation to secure the secret recipe of a fabled dish that he had not even tasted himself.
How far would one go to preserve a relationship? Three of King David’s top military commanders risked their lives to procure a drink of water from a well in Bethlehem after he expressed his longing to once again taste of it (2 Samuel 23:13-17). Jonathan disobeyed his father, King Saul, to protect his best friend, David, and enable him to escape his father’s wrath (1 Samuel 20). These beautiful and touching examples of friendship and loyalty and all point to the love that our Lord Jesus Christ has for all of us.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (ESV)
Jesus Christ endured the torture and humiliation of the Cross to secure a pathway for salvation for all who confess and repent of their sins and place their trust in Him. What is the ultimate cost of loyalty to a friend? Jesus gave His life so that we may live eternally with God.
All praise to the living God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.