In the town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, there is a church named Lagniappe. It is an old Creole word that means “something extra.”
Pastor Jean Larroux explains, “Down here if you go into a seafood shop and order a pound of shrimp and they put in an extra handful, that’s the lagniappe. It’s something you can’t pay for. Something for nothing. Something for free.”
In an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Jean began this church, in his words, with people “primed for grace.”
Accustomed to teaching church people how to celebrate, Jean was surprised to find himself in a community of people who already knew. Even in the middle of their hardship.
Here’s the good part.
The celebration–from lagniappe–is not predicated on life as we expect it.
The party doesn’t start when our fear is gone.
Or when our beliefs are unadulterated.
Or when our circumstances make it feasible.
Most likely, if we wait for all that, we miss replenishment, comfort and healing every time.
(Jean Larroux story from Sin Boldly, Cathleen Falsani)