Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Goodness

Sometimes, things in life are so yummy, that you cannot wait to eat them up!!! For example, when my wonderful fiancĂ© makes a watermelon milkshake, I don't turn a free sip!  Tonight, he made a chocolate chip cookie skillet over which I drizzled chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream.  It was so good, but unfortunately it did not survive long enough for me to snap a picture!  I think if it had survived, it would have looked a lot like this!

Either way, it was delicious!  That is how I like to describe my day, delicious.  I have loved food since I was a child, but when I started dating Josh, my real love affair with food began.  I couldn't figure out what about that boy made me want to eat.  We would try new restaurants, and I would willingly try whatever he placed on his plate.  I told him he had a "pig syndrome."  If you ever get close enough to hear a pig eat, whatever they are eating sounds utterly delicious!!  Seriously!  We used to feed our pigs vegetables that were so rotten, the smell would burn the inside of your nose!!  But, our piggies would eat it up, and as you listened to them eat, you were almost convinced that their vegetables were bit only edible, but wonderful.  Josh eating has that effect on me, and most times, his food is wonderful.

For a long time, I thought that being happy in a new relationship is what was causing me to eat obsessively.  As our relationship went on though, my affair with food grew, exponentially!!  I finally realized that I had what I thought was a food addiction.  Like Ruby!  I felt like I used food as comfort alone, but as time went on, I realized I used food for so much more!  I was using food to express every feeling I could have, and I began to look at my hunger as more of a sidetrack and less as a problem.  Then, in January, one of my friends, Courtney, posted on her awesomely amazing blog, Shoals Perk, about a book she was reading.  If there is one thing I love more than being inspired, it is reading, so for me, reading about inspiration seemed like a no brainer!  Until I read the description.  "Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table - Shauna expresses that the most sacred moments, moments of her feeling God's presence most profoundly, take place around the table."

I am a Christian, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I feel like Christian novels or books come off more as a self-help category.  I believe that my God is an awesome God, and they He sent His only son to save my little lowly life, and with only a little hesitation, Jesus did it.  He saved me, and you.  But if I wanted to read a story about how great Jesus is, I would read the New Testament.  If I want to hear about the awesome ways in which God works, I would look at my own life, and read the whole Bible.  I honestly did not know what to think about Bread & Wine.  It took me from January to May to consider reading this book, and once I started I was  pleasantly surprised.  I really enjoyed reading it, and Shauna's story.  

Source: DaySpring

I began to find myself sucked into this woman's life, and I compared and contrasted my own life and goals to hers.  She has an amazing book with her incredible story.  The profound statements that she writes in this book will grab at your soul, whether you are a devout, practicing Christian or not.  Like me, Shauna has an appetite for food, and in her book she writes, "My appetite is strong, powerful, precise, but for years and years, I tried to pretend I couldn't hear it screaming in my ears."  When I read that sentence, I felt as though I too have found myself in those shoes.  It isn't right to devour food.  It is not lady-like, but I was so hungry.  That hunger is what makes and breaks us.  That hunger makes us all equal because despite how much we eat in one sitting, there will always be another meal a few hours later.  When commercials come on television about donating to third-world countries, they do not talk about safety.  They do not talk about shelter.  They discuss these peoples' need for food, and we immediately relate.

Food is a powerful thing.  So powerful and meaningful that it is the way Jesus used to relate his sacrifice for hundreds of years to come.  With a simple meal of bread and wine, a meal that is now known as the Last Supper.  Jesus equalized us all by giving us food to tie our bond to Him.  It really is a beautiful thing when you look at it.  Maybe I am feeling more nostalgic because Josh and I took our nephew today to go see "Heaven is For Real."  The movie talks about a young boy's trip to Heaven, and how hard it is for the adults in his life to cope with his journey, and what it could mean.  Really good movie, totally a tear-jerker in places though!  Tonight, Josh and I planned dinner with our nephew and my roommate, and together the four of us gathered around our tiny table and feasted on bits of homemade goodness.  Because that is what life consists of - the bits of goodness that feed your day and your soul.  Those bits of goodness can taste like anything you want them to be.  A movie with loved ones, a crowded dinner around a tiny table, or even a hot, gooey cookie in a cast iron skillet.  Just a few bits of goodness to eat up!  

"We come to the table because our hunger brings us there.  We come with a need, with fragility, with an admission of humanity.  If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health.  Come to the table." - Shauna Niequist, "Bread & Wine"

1 comment:

  1. The food/faith connection is a good one. Jesus' first miracle was at the wedding at Cana, and the headwaiter was amazed: "you have kept the good wine until now." (Jn 2:10).

    When Jesus pours himself out, he does so with great abundance! I'm certain that he took joy in eating, and in sharing a table with his friends!

    Jesus also says "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." (Jn 6:27). He says, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (6:51).

    I would point out that "The Last Supper" occurred in the context of Jesus and his disciples observing the Jewish Passover. Wine and bread were part of the "simple meal", which also included an unblemished lamb that was sacrificed in the temple and then roasted for the Seder meal.

    The connection is even deeper though. St. John the Baptist points out Jesus as “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (CCC 523). Jesus is the Paschal Lamb of the New Covenant, a replacement for the Passover lamb of the Old Covenant. He gives us Himself, as True Food and True Drink (Jn 6:55), so that we may becoming One Body, in Him!


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