Sunday, December 16, 2012

Not eating makes me think about food.

And this is the food I'm thinking about.

Chinese food

Some good sweet'n'sour chicken. Or sesame chicken. I think I'd go for the sesame chicken.

How about some garlicky beef and broccoli. Mmmmmm.

Christmas food

Like eggnog.

And Mincemeat pie.

Junk food

Like Pringles.

And especially, a Culver's Butter Burger.

Comfort Food

Like Granno's apple pie.

Or a cheese ball.

Can't find a proper picture of either one of these, but it's just as well, because Granno's apple pie is unlike any apple pie on google images, and the cheese ball ("Party cheese ball"--YUM!) is so epic, it would be overwhelming to see a good picture of it. Especially with the right crackers. Ah!

Mexican Food

For instance, an incredibly huge, juicy, beefy burrito.

Or a drippy, cheesy, melty, chicken quesadilla.

[Oooooh.... This has nothing to do with Mexican food, but I just got sidetracked at a lovely new place, a blog called Cooking for Seven. Oh such beautiful creations of food. Tantalizing! I'll be visiting there again frequently. Pear, dark chocolate, and muenster panini??? Twist my arm! Dirty Chai pancakes with Spiced Caramel Sauce??? Sign me up!]

Homemade Food

My family's homemade pizza.

'Nuff said.

Oh boy. This is getting dangerous. And that's without mentioning...

  • melt-in-your-mouth frozen custard 
  • Mrs. Sadler's chicken pot pie
  • reuben sandwiches
  • biscuits and gravy
  • liver and onions
  • moroccan tajine
  • chili and cornbread
  • split pea soup
  • bacon
  • hummus and pita
  • cranberry sauce
  • hot apple cider
  • milk and cookies

I think it's time to stop. I can tell I've been in Haiti for quite a while now. When you're in Haiti, you don't get to eat like this. So it's not just that I haven't been eating for a week, it's that I haven't had any of the above for 3 months, and there's no chance in the near future to have them, either.

(Note to my friends and family: When I come home, if you serve me spaghetti, rice, beans, and/or cornmeal, I will eat it with a cheerful attitude, but it will not be a long-desired special treat! Take the foods mentioned in this post under consideration instead.)

(Another note to my friends and family: If I come home early due to this hepatitis, and I can't eat all this heavy, rich, decadent food because of a special diet, and you serve any of the items pictured here, it will be worse torture than looking at the pictures. Just sayin'.)


Now I'm going to switch gears entirely and take this otherwise-pointless point in a redemptive direction. Let me point to Jesus.

I'm fairly sure that the pictures and food suggestions above resonated with my readers and caused you, too, to feel hungry and appetized for one or more of the choices I listed. But here's the question: would you or I be that interested if we replaced all the foods with Scriptures?

Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."(Matthew 4:4).

I ask myself honestly, "How seriously do I take that?"

Jesus said, " I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)

I have to evaluate my own heart: How far is that true for me?

I hunted all these yummy food pictures gloatingly, with a sweet glee bubbling up from within me, relishing just the look of food, without even smelling, touching, or tasting it. Do I delight that tangibly in feasting on the Word? 

God's word is supposed to be "sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." (Psalm 19:10)

Do we just pay lip service to that, or is it a defining reality of our lives?

The Psalmist could say, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103)

What will it take for us to truly treasure the Word of God in this way? 

What if we were so hungry for Scripture after a week-long fast from it that we just couldn't resist doing a blog post with all our favorite verses that we hadn't read for a long time? 

What if it didn't matter to us what we ate or when or how often, just so long as we got to have our dose of Scripture for the day? 

What if searching the Word was more delightful to us than the most delightful eating experience we've ever had? I can think of some really good tiramisu I had once. I still remember how great a pleasure it gave me to eat every.single.bite. I think of Kopp's Midnight Chocolate Cake ice cream, of savory cheeses, of garlicky doner kebab meat, of a bowl full of cherries, and of many other things that are so absolutely delicious that the pleasure just never goes away.
Doner Kebab, straight from a website in Turkey. The real deal.
(Did they intentionally make it to look sort of like a smiley face?)

Am I not blind and deaf and utterly confused if I do not treasure the Word of God more than these temporal pleasures of food? The eyes of faith look beyond the power of the senses to discern the clear and true and living realities. It is TRUE, deafeningly true, resoundingly true, that the Word of God is objectively far greater and sweeter and more nourishing and life-giving and pleasure-giving than all the best food the world has ever known. 

We are fools not to bring our lives into conformity with this reality. We are missing out on exquisite beauty, pure satisfaction, and endless pleasure by staying outside of the place where we feast on the Word. 

I pity the poor Haitian people who have never tasted even one of the foods I've listed here. Most of the people in Haiti probably have literally never tasted or conceived of even one of the foods in this post (with the exception of bread. They've probably tasted that). Aside from the fact that they're not even guaranteed to eat at all on any given day, they have a vocabulary of like 4 food options. Spaghetti. Rice. Cornmeal. Wheat mush. Ah! They don't know what they're missing out on! But NEITHER DO WE who leave the Bible to gather dust on the shelf, or take it out for our obligatory five minute devotion time, and never discover the true riches and joy-filled LIFE that God offers us. 

The Haitian who has never eaten a nutritious, balanced diet is to be pitied, but only insofar as the natural world goes. Pity the person far more who has never eaten the nutritious, balanced diet of the Word of God, which brings life to the spirit and awakens the soul to union and fellowship with God. The one is malnourished for this life only, but the other is malnourished for this life and the next. 

Why is the Word of God so precious? Why is it so good? What is so great about it, after all? Isn't it just a bunch of spiritual-sounding hype to place God's word so far above our greatest earthly pleasures?


Because the Word of God---IS JESUS. 

John 1

And if you don't know that Jesus is precious and good, far above the greatest earthly pleasure, then I doubt you have ever encountered Him at all. But that's a conversation for another day.

1 comment:

  1. I find that if I think about eating stuff I shouldn't it make me want it, so try not to think about that type of food.


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